This year-long reporting initiative explores the challenges faced by small businesses in our neighborhood and investigates the best solutions for long-term survival.

The project includes a series of 8 in-depth stories, profiles of the LES’s most loved businesses, a “Buy Local” Guide and comprehensive interviews with local leaders.

Our readers helped to make this project possible by backing our campaign here. We want to thank each and every one of them and especially our community partners:





Photos courtesy of 100 Gates Program.

LES’s 100 Gates Program Expands to Harlem and Staten Island

A public art initiative born on the Lower East Side is expanding to two more New York City neighborhoods. …

393 Grand St.

Owner of Seward Park Liquors Retracts Some Statements About His Landlord

Here’s an update on the situation at Seward Park Liquors. …

393 Grand St.

Seward Park Liquors Battles to Remain in Grand Street Storefront

The owner of Seward Park Liquors has gone public with his battle to remain in a storefront at 393 Grand St. …

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Sponsored: A New Lower East Side CPA Firm is Now Open

Just in time for tax season, there’s a new CPA firm in town.

YMZ CPA has a”Big 4″ accounting firm background. We specialize in …

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Number of Chain Stores Drops on the Lower East Side in 2016

If you prefer independently run mom-and-pops over national chain stores, you’ll be happy to see the latest report from the Center for an Urban Future. …

Photo from Council member Mendez's Instagram.

East Village Merchants Association Launches Discount Card

There’s a new way to support local businesses and save money at the same time. …

Nike courts on Stanton Street.

Nike Debuts Stanton Street Courts, Politicos Protest Giant Soho Store

Photos by Nike.

Nike has revealed its new basketball courts in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. The project is a collaboration with the NYC Parks …

Zarin Fabrics X Housing Works Event 12.17.15 - photo by Andrew Werner, AHW_1173

Zarin Fabrics: Looking Back at 80 Years on the Lower East Side

The store has outlasted its Lower East Side competitors and overcome many obstacles in its eight decades of existence. …

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There’s An App For That: WeLocals Helps You Support Small Businesses

Many small businesses want to reward their loyal customers and we all like getting a good deal. This is why Tony Powe has relaunched …

Kareem Hamady, Julian Plyter at the Hester Street Fair in 2011.

Hester Street Fair Celebrates Home Grown Businesses on Saturday

You might recognize these guys — Kareem Hamady and Julian Plyter of Melt Bakery. …