Bodega Decline

The Story

Bodegas are struggling. In Manhattan, rising costs and increasing competition from chain stores have forced about 75 of the one-stop-shops to close this year. Small businesses like bodegas are subject to an array of fines and commercial rent taxes that are less burdensome to larger businesses. With retail rents soaring, landlords in prime spots are happy to kick healthy businesses out months or even years before finding a new tenant.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Constant Competition: Retail rent prices in Manhattan have risen 22% in the past ten years. Read more

  2. Constant Fear: 61% of bodega owners surveyed by the Bodega Association of the United States said their business was in danger of closing in the near future. Read more

  3. Constant Fees: Small businesses in the city pay roughly $900 million in annual fees and fines–including up to $40,000 for breaking outdoor advertising rules. Read more

“[L]ike many other small and minority-owned businesses, these past few years have been the worst we have ever seen. Everyday, bodegas are shutting down in New York as a result of the current economic conditions.”

Ramon Murphy, president of the Bodega Association of the United States

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Small Businesses to NYC: Get Off Our Backs! By Steven Malanga (Autumn 2009)

“Doing business in Gotham has rarely been easy for the nearly 200,000 small firms that form the backbone of the city’s local economy. Virtually everyone who runs a business in New York has long had to deal with uncompromising inspectors, unsympathetic city bureaucracies, and complex regulations, to say nothing of profit-crushing taxes. But over the past few years, small businesses’ woes have worsened significantly, say many entrepreneurs and business groups.”

And in other news...

“Personal-injury and other tort claims filed annually against the New York Police Department soared to a new high of 9,448 one year ago, according to a report released Thursday by the city comptroller’s office. […] But the comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, said that a preliminary review of data from the most recent fiscal year, which ended June 30 and was too recent for the report, showed what he called a “very meaningful” decline of 11 percent in such claims — the first double-digit reduction in more than two decades.”