BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — “Buffalo Business First” calculated the city’s downtown recovery as part of its “downtown vitality index.”
It takes into account six different factors. That includes people moving into or out of the area, transit ridership, office space, and hotel occupancy.
With all of this considered Buffalo ranks pretty high.
Its fifth-place spot beats out larger cities including Miami, Atlanta, and Los Angeles. While on paper, it seems the future of Downtown Buffalo should be bright, but is that really the case?
Right now, the city’s Common Council is weighing a “half-million dollar grant” to prop up the Braymiller Market.
A vote on the funding was set for today.
It is now tabled until next month.
Local business owners and organizations tell 7 News that while some stores are struggling, others are holding steady.
“Sue’s Deli has been in existence for over 29 years,” explained deli owner Albert Ramia.
He says they have been through a lot of ups and downs and, “throughout the years we’ve seen it all.”
But Ramia says business on Main Street in Buffalo hasn’t been the same since the pandemic.
“But we’re trying so hard to stay in business and focus more on what’s coming rather than what happened,” Albert says they remain optimistic,
“You learn a lot in life. I’m not young anymore. I’ve seen just about everything so far but I just hope that downtown Buffalo goes back to normal again. Unfortunately, a lot of places shut down,” Albert explained.
While Sue’s is busy during this Tuesday lunch hour, they don’t have the regular daily customers they used to like Emily Paul who works nearby and used to frequent the deli before the pandemic.
“I work two days at home. My company moved to a hybrid scenario so I like the mix. It’s ideal,” Paul said.
Paul says it looks like her company’s hybrid plan is here to stay because, “it’s been working out very, very well. People are really happy.”
While employees may be happier working from home, Seth Piccirillo of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership says it’s making things very challenging for businesses.
“There’s still a lot of work to be done as the impact of remote work is still being flushed out. We know that employers and businesses are having a hard time attracting the employees that they need. That was an issue before Covid. It’s just been just elevated after,” Seth explained.
At Sue’s Deli, the staff is made up mostly of family members and Albert says they work hard every day and hope that one day business will return to normal.
He says some days are good and others are not but, “I’m always here thinking every day, coming in and thinking that it’s going to be a good day.”
According to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, businesses are trying to re-open and many are looking to take advantage of incentives at the County, State, and federal levels.
If you are a business owner you can reach out to the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and learn more about their industry leaders forum.
You can find more information, here.
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