Last week, Coastal Connection reported that Lower Manhattan is still in bad shape after Sandy’s historic storm surge (“Lower Manhattan’s Old Seaport Still Shattered by Sandy”). But city business leaders don’t like the sound of that, and they’re working hard to change that impression, reports Crain’s New York Business (“Downtown biz tout post-Sandy comeback,” by Andrew J. Hawkins).
“On the down side, the South Street Seaport remains a ghost town, and the PATH train is only now resuming weekend service between New Jersey and Lower Manhattan,” Crain’s notes. But business leaders meeting at 100 Wall Street (which was flooded during the storm) wanted to focus on the positive: “Nearly 100% of commercial office space and residential inventory below Chambers Street has re-opened, according to the report by the Downtown Alliance and the Real Estate Board of New York,” reports Crain’s. “Similarly, the groups said that 96% of downtown hotels are back online, and 90% of lower Manhattan's stores and businesses are open as well.”
A report by two students at Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism focuses on the fate of one lower Manhattan business, the Paris Cafe, which still has some recovering to do (“The Paris Cafe’s Twisted Road Back After Sandy,” by Colm O’Molloy and Jonathan Williamson). The restaurant is being gutted and restored, to the tune of $800,000, cafe owner Pete O’Connell told the pair. He doesn’t know if he’ll get any help from government funds.
That’s a big unknown for most New York City small businesses, reports The Epoch Times (“Choices Narrow for NYC Business Owners in Sandy-Hit Areas,” by Zachary Stieber).
“Swaths of Staten Island, southeast Queens, south Brooklyn, Red Hook, and Lower Manhattan still do not attract nearly as many visitors as they did before Sandy,” The Epoch Times reports, “which adds to the difficult choice: Should businesses try to get money through grants and loans to rebuild? Or should they relocate to another area? Or should they just pack up and move on?”
But there’s money in the pipeline for some, if they hold on: “And as part of the federal package coming to New York, $100 million in grants will start being dispersed soon, along with another $80 million in loans and grants,” The Epoch Times reports.