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More Small Business With Big History

2021 is the year we realize more than ever the need to shop local as much as we can. We know you love to support small, local, independent businesses. And we do too.

Julius’ Bar 159 West 10th Street, Photo by and thanks to Suzanne Schein.

2021 is here and Village Preservation continues to add new local independent businesses to our “Small Business/Big History” signage program, in which we are partnering with great local businesses to promote neighborhood history and the wonderful services and products they offer.

The Love Child at 1 Horatio Street, http://www.lovechildyoga.com/. Photo by and thanks to Suzanne Schein.

You can take a tour in person or virtually, and learn a thing or two about the history of these buildings, streets, and neighborhoods, and at the same time make a purchase and support a great local business, or take an online class for well being! Check them all out on our map here, and just click on each business to learn more history.

Local independent businesses are the backbone of our communities, and many are struggling now just to stay alive. We want to help small businesses start off 2021 as strong as possible. So please consider making a purchase, get some take out, or take a class, to help keep them going. Skip Amazon, and shop local — in store, or on their website.

Three Lives and Company books, temporarily relocated to 238 West 10th Street! Photo by and thanks to Suzanne Schein.

Here is an example of the history we uncover, this for the piece up at Bravo’s Book Nook, 115 Macdougal Street:

“Built as a stable by the firm of Sommerfeld & Steckler, 115 MacDougal Street was converted to a garage in the 1930s. But by 1958 a more dramatic transformation took place, to a theater, restaurant, offices, and rehearsal space. The conversion was done by Donald Goldman, founder of Shakerspearewrights, a successful off-Broadway producing company specializing in the works of Shakespeare. The first production in January 1959 was King Lear.”

With a 1940’s photo that shows the time when it looked more like a stable with a Gulf sign still up:

On a related note, please consider attending the Community Board 2 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & SMALL BUSINESS Committee heating on January 27 @ 6:30 pm

  1. Presentation on the Recovery Leases Bill, Senate Bill S8903. by NYS Senator Brian Kavanagh’s office.
  2. Presentation from NYS Senator Brad Hoylman’s office on proposed legislation regarding Commercial Rent Relief,  S.8865 / A.10901. More information here, https://www.saveourstorefronts.nyc/

Please register at the following link:
https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_GlJgKFjvRvygCDOrVE3AWQ

Besides promoting the unique and wonderful local shops that serve our needs and enliven our streets, Village Preservation also advocates for legislation that helps small businesses, and you can too.

As we know, the plight of local small businesses and non-profit institutions right now is challenging to say the least.  Forced to close in the interest of collective health and safety or limit access due to the pandemic, many have lost significant income or shut down permanently.  Storefronts are emptying, harming communities, neighbors, and property owners.

Village Preservation is working with a coalition of local merchants, non-profits, elected officials, and property owners to address this problem.  The ‘Save Our Storefronts’ (S.O.S.) coalition has proposed legislation, introduced by State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Harvey Epstein (S.8865/A.10901), that would help cover the cost of rent for COVID-19 affected businesses and non-profits using State and Federal funds, while requiring the small business or non-profit and the property owner to share the burden of the shortfall. 

Certified COVID-19 affected tenants would have to pay the lesser of 20% of their income or 1/3 of their rent, property owners would have to forgive 20% of the rent, and the State, using federal funds that might be more likely with the incoming Administration, would pay the remainder. More on that legislation and campaign here, and send a letter to elected officials urging they support it here.

However you chose to help — making a purchase at one of these Small Business/Big History locations, supporting the Save Our Storefronts legislation, or both — now’s the time to do it. Too many of our local small businesses are hanging on by a thread, and your purchase or letter could be the difference between making it through and shutting their doors forever.

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