Getting back to normal was the goal of a business crawl held Saturday in the East Village weeks after a deadly building explosion and collapse. NY1’s Mahsa Saeidi has the story.
After the explosion, Paul's Da Burger Joint sitting just a block away from the site shut down for four days. When it re-opened, business was down 50 percent.
“It makes you not pay your suppliers on time, your bills get piled up,” said Paul’s Burger Manager Robin Kovalevich.
The owner of Himalayan Visions agrees, saying her gift shop was nearly empty.
The construction is going on the people think the store is closed so I'm trying my best to stay here open up and people might show up,” said Sonam Tenzin of Himalayan Vision.
On Saturday afternoon, they did show up.
“I think when bad things happen good things can come out of it, and watching us come together as a group and support mom and pop businesses it's critical,” said a man.
The group, Save NYC held a targeted business crawl on Second Avenue to help businesses that took a financial hit. The result was customers and cash.
“I'm really glad, picking up our business,” said Tenzin.
“I guess people from Twitter and Facebook caught on, and they've just been continuously coming all day to support us,” said Kovalevich .
Residents say places like B&H Dairy, and Gem Spa are part of the landscape and charm of the East Village.
The last thing that people really want to see is the mollification of NY,” said a woman.
It's definitely really important to me to keep places like this going, you know, because it's what's left of my childhood down here,” said a restaurant patron, Sarah Keljikian.
Meanwhile, newer establishments and their workers are also recovering. Like Nick Naranjo who is a cashier at Taqueria Diana.
“I've had to pick up a second job recently and because everythings been lacking here now,” said Naranjo
He appreciates the customers lined up out the door, showing support. Still, many are thinking about the people who lost their home, and the two young men who lost their lives:
“There's a lot of gloom, a lot of friends we know a lot of people who lost their homes,” said a man.
The mayor's fund is providing support to people directly affected by the explosion. More than $125,000 has already been raised.