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As Subway Construction Continues, Struggling 2nd Avenue Businesses Try to Stay Afloat

by Stephanie Colombini
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2nd Avenue Subway Construction

Yoav Lerman, flickr

The 2nd Avenue "Restaurant and Retail Week" runs June 1-8, 2013.

Shops and restaurants along Manhattan's 2nd Avenue are calling on customers to step through the scaffolding and take part in the avenue's Restaurant and Retail Week which starts tomorrow.  

Businesses have been suffering due to construction for the 2nd Avenue subway line.  They'll be offering specials and discounts as incentives for customers to help keep them alive through 2016 when construction's expected to wrap up. 

Bob Schwartz owns a shoe store on Seventy-ninth Street, close to one of the MTA's primary construction tunnels.  He says the biggest problem for local business is the lack of street traffic.

It's not 'Let's go for a stroll on 2nd Avenue!  We'll go for a stroll on the cross streets, let's go over to the park"...There's nobody walking up and down 2nd Avenue right now."

Schwartz is also the chair of the 2nd Avenue Steering Committee and works with local merchants to boost the economy throughout the area.   He says the construction's been tough on his business, but he's doing okay because most of his customers are referred to the shop.  According to Schwartz, places that rely heavily on passers-by for customers like stationary and hardware stores have it the worst.

"It's such a struggle as they go through their numbers, borderline staying in business."

Schwartz says the potential success once construction's finished should be well worth the wait.  The MTA estimates the Second Avenue subway line will transport over two hundred thousand commuters per day once up and runnning. 

 

 

 

 

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