On their website, you will find a bird’s eye view map of Brooklyn that was created in mixed hand-drawn and digital technique. The illustrated map is inspired by a street scene and was commissioned by the Cambridge University Press. The scene is reminiscent of a thriving Brooklyn when the coronavirus has not yet forced the stores to close.
More than half of the 233 businesses in Brooklyn that were surveyed by Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce said that they are struggling to stay open given the financial strain caused by the coronavirus. According to the results of the survey, financial troubles are due to rent prices. At least 28% of the businesses surveyed revealed that they did not pay rent in July. About 61% said that their landlord did not offer rent relief.
Rent relief is very important for small businesses. According to Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers, customers have fled the city which means that rent relief is urgently needed. Business community leaders, landlords, banks and policy makers have to come up with innovative solutions so that small businesses will be given relief before they plunge into a rent crisis. .
New York City is now in Phase 4 reopening of the economy but capacity restrictions and social distancing remain in place to prevent the resurgence of Covid19 cases. However, consumers are not inclined to spend. Retail stores, hotels, health and wellness, manufacturing, arts, entertainment and other industries are struggling to stay open.
Before the pandemic, commercial retail vacancies have already plagued the community. Seasonal businesses are effectively frozen because there are no tourists. Businesses have to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE’s) before reopening. Without rent relief, how will these industries survive?
New York officials are considering deferment of rental payments, back-stopping of mortgages through federal guarantees and other solutions that will help small businesses.
Illustrated maps do not follow a strict scale but they can elicit an instant sense of recognition. A certain kind of playfulness is also very evident on the map illustrations you will find on their website. This playfulness is very appealing and interesting to viewers. They reflect culture and pride in the community.