According to the Opportunity Insights Tracker, the number of New York City businesses has decreased by 44.7% since January of 2020.
With federal PPP money ending last May, the city’s small businesses have one less place to turn for help as they struggle to recover their COVID losses. The bulk of those business losses happened in Manhattan, and, with the onset of supply chain issues, staffing shortages and inflation, the remaining businesses and new small businesses trying to open up have been hit by more and more obstacles.
The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce is charged with helping those small business not only survive, but thrive. Jessica Walker is the president and CEO of the Chamber, and she joins In Focus to shine a light on the life or death battles being fought by mom and pop shops all over the borough. She talks about what the Chamber is doing to reach out to business owners, knocking on doors to make sure they know the Chamber is there, offering online webinars to help them with loans, grants or just well-timed advice.
Since Patrick Hall opened Élan Flowers in Lower Manhattan, the shop has been beset by the first World Trade Center bombing, 9/11, the 2009 recession, Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Ida. He joins In Focus to talk about how his business has persevered over the years, and what he’s doing now to claw his way back from COVID, and fight against supply chain issues which have resulted in stock shortages.
He says it’s his private clients who’ve kept him going as he waits for events to come back into fashion, and corporate offices to once again open up.