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:

tax creative commons

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 …


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. …


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. …

164 Ludlow St. Photo courtesy of ODD. New York.

ODD. New York Announces Departure From 164 Ludlow St.

ODD. New York, the cutting edge boutique at 164 Ludlow St., is going to be leaving the Lower East Side after almost five years. …

151 Orchard St.

Streetwear Pioneer, Reed Space, is Closing Orchard Street Store in September

The pioneering streetwear/lifestyle brand, Reed Space, is leaving Orchard Street after 15 years. …

Original Ludlow Guitars sign

Ludlow Guitars Owner Predicts Brighter Future In Brooklyn

Although sorry to leave their Ludlow home, the shop’s owner, Kaan Howell, predicts a prosperous future for his shop and is finding ways to extend its reach beyond sales. …