The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
27 February 2015


Dear friend,

Small businesses in our neighborhood and citywide are facing increasing pressure, with more and more closing their doors or being forced out every day. In just the last few weeks, we have heard the heart-breaking news of the impending closure of GVSHP Village Award-winnerAvignone Pharmacy and the possible demise of Caffe Dante. And of course this follows a long list of Village and East Village institutions that have been lost in recent years.

Local small businesses are an essential underpinning of our neighborhoods and our city -- from providing vital services to adding to neighborhood character to providing employment and opportunity for economic advancement for small entrepreneurs.  
That is why GVSHP has been pursuing means to save and support local small businesses, and to help assist with some of the challenges they face.
One of those is supporting Intro. 0402-2014 in the New York City Council, the Small Business Jobs Survival Act (SBJSA). The SBSJA would bring disputes regarding lease renewals between commercial tenants and landlords to an arbitrator for resolution, an d thus help prevent rent gouging and give small businesses a chance to remain in their current location, by making the case for a reasonable rent for the space they occupy. The bill is supported by the Small Business Congress of New York and is currently co-sponsored by fifteen members of the City Council (including all three Village and East Village Councilmembers) and the Public Advocate. But the bill has not yet been granted a hearing or a vote in the City Council, which is necessary for its passage, and Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Mayor Bill de Blasio have not yet said if they support it.

GVSHP is also supporting small businesses in our neighborhood through our "Business of the Month" program.  Each month, a local, independent business is featured on GVSHP's website and blog Off the Grid, and shared via our e-bulletins, showcasing one of our neighborhoods' great and unique retail or commercial treasures. The program underscores what makes each business so valued and distinctive, and we hope will increase support and patronage, thus aiding our local small businesses' health and viability. The public can nominate their favorite businesses for consideration as a "Business of the Month" by filling out very brief form here.  

This month's "Business of the Month" is East Village Cheese located on Third Avenue. East Village Cheese is not only a wonderful and unique local business, but one which is currently looking for a new home due to being forced out of their space by a landlord who has refused to consider a lease renewal, preferring instead to facilitate the expansion of a chain store next door -- read mo re HERE. Read about all our Businesses of the Month here, and nominate your favorite local business here.

Recognizing their importance and the threats they face, GVSHP is continuing to pursue other measures to help preserve local small businesses, including zoning measures to restrict the proliferation of chain stores and to limit the size of commercial spaces in certain areas. We welcome your thoughts and feedback about other ways to preserve and support our small businesses.



Andrew Berman
Executive Director

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