Incubate this!

7 Dec 2010

New York City, with a mayor who got his start as an entrepreneur, likes to say it supports small businesses. The City’s Economic Development Corporation is even spending $1 million to open “business incubators,” in all five boroughs, to encourage the “next Google.” Sounds exciting!

At the same time, however, the City is doing nothing to save the Aqueduct Flea Market, which supports nearly 1,000 less glamorous immigrant small-business owners and is being evicted by the NY State gambling commission next week. Despite a bunch of press coverage (1,2,3) and the best efforts of the Indo-Carribean Alliance to organize the vendors and find them a new location, it seems this 30-year old Queens marketplace will be going out with a whimper. Our friends at the Center for an Urban Future said it best in their World of Opportunity report: “in most cases, immigrant-run businesses aren’t even on the radar of local economic development officials.” Why is that? And where is the outrage about Aqueduct?

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