DNAinfo.com Struggling Second Ave. Businesses Need Financial Aid, Councilman Says by Lindsay Armstrong
City Councilman Ben Kallos is hoping to secure funds to help business owners like Pecora by creating grants for small businesses that have been negatively affected by municipal construction projects like the Second Avenue subway project.
Since construction started, Second Avenue businesses have struggled with decreased foot traffic, high noise levels and excess dust and debris.
“Anyone who lives in the district knows that stores have closed,” Kallos said. “Some have seen losses of 25 percent or more. Even businesses like the Beach Café, which has been here for almost 50 years, are struggling.”
According to Kallos's proposal, small businesses located within 150 feet of municipal construction sites would be eligible to apply for grants if they could show a 10 percent reduction in taxable income compared to the year before construction began. Businesses could seek funds for both physical improvements, like soundproof windows and improved ventilation systems, and for marketing and advertising efforts to reach more customers. In some cases, businesses would also be able to seek funds for payroll and rental assistance.