- Shops signs in Greenpoint. Photo by Flickr member Anna Majkowska

If you are going to open your business in Greenpoint, be ready for a red tape – city, federal and state taxes, both personal and corporate. Besides, learn about types of business that have more chances to succeed in the neighborhood.

Ed Veneziano, the owner of men’s clothing store Cato’s Army & Navy and one of the co-chairs of the Greenpoint Business Alliance, said many businesses – new and old – struggle with rent.

“The only types of businesses that can pay those rents are bars, restaurants and chain stores. Landlords see that with patience, they ultimately get the rents they are hoping for and apparently are in a position to let a storefront stay vacant until the next chain or trendy restaurant rents their space,” said Veneziano. He worries that the Greenpoint business community is becoming unbalanced.

Mom-and-pop stores, which are often owned by local residents, have limited profitability: “They can’t succeed once their rent exceeds the average foot traffic into their businesses,” said Veneziano. As a result, Greenpoint remains “a great place to eat and have a good time, but its residents could have limited opportunities for basics.”


Smaller businesses are less burdened by government regulations and taxes, said Michael D. Jenkins , the author of the book “Starting and Operating a Business in New York”. He said,. companies with less than $95,000 in gross receipts are exempt from the Unincorporated Business Tax on profits and businesses with no employees also have an advantage. “Once you hire even one employee, a small business is subject to an endless laundry list of additional taxes, workers’ comp insurance requirements, labour law reporting and compliance and other responsibilities,” said Jenkins. “At various numbers of employees, such as 10, 15, 20, 50, or 100, additional major regulatory requirements will apply,” he added. Jenkins points out a paradox: “Politicians are always in favor of jobs, jobs, and more jobs, but almost every law that is passed is another disincentive to hire more employees.”

What businesses have the best chances for succees in Greenpoint? Take part in a survey that may help Greenpoint have better environment for local entrepreneurs and consumers.

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