Number of Vacant NYC Storefronts Nearly Double Since Pandemic
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If you haven’t heard, living in New York City is getting harder and harder, especially if you’re a business owner. In fact, data shows that a whopping 11.2 percent of all NYC storefronts are now empty.

Now, to be sure, that statistic may not sound all that bad, especially when you hear that this is only 5.2 percentage points more than what it was in 2019. However, that means the city’s empty storefronts have nearly doubled in just a few short years.

And as Manhattan Councilmember and Democrat Gale Brewer say, that’s increasingly problematic. As I am sure you can imagine, where there are vacancies, there is increasing “homeless, garbage, and the business next door hurts.”

Essentially, Brewer says it’s “creating havoc” throughout the city.

But why are so many business fronts no longer open?

Well, according to Calvin Brown deputy commissioner for neighborhood development, the problem is “archaic zoning barriers.”

Mayor Eric Adams agrees, noting that his office is pushing for an initiative known as the “City of Yes,” which seeks to “remove outdated limitations on businesses and ensure that local retail streets and commercial centers across the city can remain lively places that sustain our neighborhoods.”

However, this definitely isn’t the only issue.

New York City Councilmember and Republican for Queens Vickie Paladino suggests the problem is rising crime and retaining theft throughout the city.

As she told the New York Post, “We’ve got kids coming in on bicycles and just ransacking a store.”

She added that many in the city can’t afford to open businesses, facing the harsh crime statistics. You know, like the fact that thefts have gone up a whopping 64 percent between June 2019 and June 2023.

Bronx Councilmember Oswald Feliz says it is the first issue every small business ever talks to the council about.

But whether it’s rising crime or outdated zoning policies, its becoming quite clear the city is falling apart at the seams. No wonder people are fleeing in droves.