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LES Struggles To Keep Small Businesses

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Hudson Street Papers moved from the West Village to Orchard Street four years ago.

We were concerned to see a nice neighborhood business like Hudson Street Papers, on Orchard and Stanton, close shop a few weeks ago.  It seems there are more and more “For Rent” signs in store fronts on the Lower East Side.  When owner Scott Brush told Racked “the Lower East Side is bad news”, we asked him how he came to this realization and why he had to close.  Here is his response:

The simple reason for closing my store was a lack of business. I was
there for 4 years and business never really picked up. Starting last
fall business began slowing even more and Christmas season was
horrible. The lack of foot traffic was a major problem. Tourists shopped,
and I did have some good regular local customers. But my business
relies on local shoppers and foot traffic. I often had people from the
neighborhood come in and ask how long I had been there, even after 4
years! And these were people who lived around the corner! I found that
longtime residents didn’t come in because they thought I would be too
expensive, younger residents were too broke or transient (many
customers moved to Brooklyn for larger apt’s at cheaper rent), and the
newer more “upscale” residents didn’t shop the neighborhood. My block
was a ghost town after 6p.m. because most of the older shops closed
early. I had high hopes for the neighborhood, every new building was
supposed to bring the change everyone was looking for. I found that
that never materialized. I did meet some great people though, made some
new friends and still visit often. I wish luck to my fellow shop owners.

The Lo-Down will have on-going coverage of economic woes for small businesses on the Lower East Side and the saga of a neighborhood in transition.  We wish you the best of luck in future endeavors, Scott.

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