Shopping Money Redirected to Many Neighborhood Stores During Transit Strike
The City of New York declared that $1 billion dollars in revenue was lost this holiday season due to the transit strike. With many New Yorkers not going to work and even more not going to the stores, businesses were suffering from the discontinued service of the mass transit system.
City Comptroller William C. Thompson, Jr. estimated that the strike would cost the city close to $400 million a day while Mayor Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to carpool and walk to work.
The city’s initial prospect of $400 million lost revenue a day was, according to economists interviewed for the MSNBC Web site, “too high and failed to account for such as employees working from home”. It was also noted on the site that Mayor Bloomberg lacked explanation for the overestimation of the original figure.
Besides the amount of lost revenue, it was claimed that small businesses were in danger of suffering the most from the transit strike. In actuality, small businesses thrived due to the gaining of patrons from bigger businesses. With the lack of transportation, customers decided to spend their money at local businesses rather than dealing with the hassle of trying to commute to the malls and department stores. Our Time Press decided to inquire about the effects of the transit strike on our local community businesses.
“People from the neighborhood came here,” said Cae Byung of 4W Circle of Art, a gift boutique on Fulton Street. “They couldn’t reach other places.” 4W was one of the stores that saw an increase in local patron sales.
Mimi Humphrey, owner of Freestyle Kids, a clothing store dedicated to children’s clothing, said, “I won’t say business was booming, but we did get some businesses because people couldn’t get to the malls.”
Even though some businesses saw an increase in foot traffic, others noted that this was the Christmas season and people are going to come to the stores anyway, regardless of a transit strike.
“We couldn’t tell if business increased because of Christmas,” said Sara Richelson from The Green Grape, a wine and spirits store, it always increases around this time”. The Green Grape didn’t experience too many problems during the strike but they still had their share. “We weren’t affected because of local business but we had problems with shipments and employees not coming to work.”