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Smith Street

WNYC News

Main Street NYC: Lessons from the Downturn

Saturday, December 19, 2009

There are more than 220,000 small businesses just in New York City-- that’s 20,000 more than five years ago. These are businesses that employ fewer than 50 people each, but overall they provide almost 40 percent of private sector jobs. Some economists say it is these small-time entrepreneurs who drive ...

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WNYC News

There are 127 Shopping Days Before Christmas

Thursday, August 20, 2009

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Christmas shopping is probably the last thing on your mind right now, unless you are a buyer who stopped by The New York International Gift Fair, where store owners met their wholesale suppliers this week. For WNYC's Main Street series, reporter Lisa Chow went to the fair with a Brooklyn boutique owner who has a shop on Smith Street. She found that small retailers who have survived the economic shakeout are cautiously optimistic.

Listen to the whole feature:

REPORTER: Here's the task for gift store retailers this season: figure out what nonessentials are essential. Charles Branstool owns Exit 9 gift stores—one on Smith Street in Brooklyn and another in the East Village. He went to the Javits Center and walked through thousands of booths to meet wholesalers and check out new products.

BRANSTOOL: Ok, this is our top vendor. They have a lot of really innovative and creative items that are sometimes serious, sometimes playful.

REPORTER: Branstool's Brooklyn store manager, Lexie Zimmerman is holding something that looks like a kitchen utensil—soft stainless steel wires dangling from a handle. Turns out it’s a head massager.

ZIMMERMAN: I ordered 720 of these.

BRANSTOOL: 720 units? Can we break that up, maybe into smaller shipments that we stagger?

ZIMMERMAN: No because we’re going to run out. And it's a $7 Christmas present. And we’re going to sell more than 700. I guarantee it.

BRANSTOOL: Ok.

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WNYC News

Main Street NYC: Brooklyn Industries on Smith Street

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The last time I reported on Smith Street, home to many boutiques and restaurants and squeezed between Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens, it was January. It was cold. And store managers complained that there was very little foot traffic. This time, I spent some time with one of ...

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WNYC News

Main Street NYC: Smith Street, Brooklyn

Thursday, January 29, 2009

WNYC's Lisa Chow took a walk down Smith Street in Brooklyn, between Atlantic Avenue and Bergen Street, and checked in with some of the folks who work and live there to find out how things are faring at the start of 2009.

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