In early March, Glady’s, a Caribbean restaurant in Brooklyn, was bringing in about $35,000 a week in revenue. The Bank Street Bookstore, a 50-year-old children’s shop in Manhattan, was preparing for busy spring and summer shopping seasons. And Busy Bodies, a play space for children in Brooklyn, had just wrapped up months of packed classes with long waiting lists.
Five months later, those once prosperous businesses have evaporated. Glady’s and Busy Bodies are closed for good and Bank Street, one of the city’s last children’s bookstores, will shut down permanently in August.
The three are victims of the economic destruction that threatens to derail New York City’s recovery from the financial collapse triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.
An expanding universe of distinctive small businesses — from coffee shops to dry cleaners to hardware stores — that give New York’s neighborhoods their unique personalities and are key to the city’s economy are starting to topple.
More than 2,800 businesses in New York City have permanently closed since March 1, according to data from Yelp, the business listing and review site, a higher number than in any other large American city. [Continue reading…]