Friday, February 06, 2009

Bodegas to Extinction?

El Diario has a front page story-and a companion column by Gerson Borrero-on the plight and threatened extinction of the city's 16,00 bodegas. 61% of these small stores, according to a study done by the US Latin Chamber of Commerce, are threatened with closure during the current recession: "Dueños de pequeños negocios luchan para sobrevivir en tiempo de crisis." (bodegueros struggling to stay open),

And, as Borrero points out, while all of the big firms are being bailed out: "Ni un centavo para ellos." (Not a penny for them) What we need from Albany, City Hall and Washington, is a bailout plan for the city's small retailers-rocked by high costs and decreasing customer incomes. Instead we get a mayor with caviar nights and champagne dreams; and an Albany government looking to raise taxes and costly regulations (expanding the bottle bill).