NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — More small businesses are reopening in New York, but some fear that they won’t be able to stay open.

There are 230,000 small businesses in the city, and many are struggling after taking a hit due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bank Street Bookstore on the Upper West Side and Amsterdam Gourmet Deli are two of the many that are closing up shop for good. Other small businesses fear they could be next.

“The studio has been here 20 years, so to think of that being erased from the neighborhood is really tough,” Teri Gandy-Richardson, owner of Park Slope Yoga Center, told CBS2’s Jenna DeAngelis on Thursday.

MORE: NYC Restaurants Struggling To Stay Afloat As Indoor Dining Is Postponed Indefinitely: ‘We Just Want To Stay In Business’

Gandy-Richardson said her business is a part of her. She was previously a member of the studio and is now the owner. But, now she finds herself standing in an empty studio not knowing when she can fill it again.

“We’ve been removed from Phase 4 with no Phase 5 and no date to open,” said Gandy-Richardson. “I feel like every week or so I hear of another studio that has decided to close their doors because they just can’t maintain this.”


Gandy-Richardson said she has been working overtime in securing a Payment Protection Program loan, paying her staff and shifting the business model online. It’s a situation that many small business owners in Park Slope find themselves in as they struggle through the pandemic.

“I was for weeks trying to figure out how do we reinvent? How do we redo this? How do we continue to have sales? How do I pay my rent?” said Christine Alcolay, owner of two stores, Kiwi and Fig. “I’m planning also for like what happens if this hits again?”

CORONAVIRUS: NY Health Dept. | NY Call 1-(888)-364-3065 | NYC Health Dept. | NYC Call 311, Text COVID to 692692 | NJ COVID-19 Info Hub | NJ Call 1-(800)-222-1222 or 211, Text NJCOVID to 898211 | CT Health Dept. | CT Call 211 | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The commissioner of the city Department of Small Business Services, Jonnel Doris, said that he wants small businesses to reach out if they are struggling. Doris is encouraging businesses to take advantage of the department’s resources, whether it’s PPE, financial help or how to reimagine the business.

“About 23,000 businesses have already contacted us on our help line hotline. Also, we have helped about 4,000-plus businesses connect to financial assistance,” Doris said. “They want to understand the regulatory environment. They want know what the new rules are and that’s what we’re here for.”

And for the thousands of New Yorkers out of work, he said the city’s 18 Workforce1 centers are operating virtually.

“We prepare and help New Yorkers to find jobs and help businesses find the talent that they need,” said Doris.

Those Workforce1 centers and other resources are free.


Leave a Reply