Nicetown: Growth Worries Some Small Business Owners

A local resident stands in front of the small business enjoying the soda she just purchased.

The Nicetown/Tioga area is going through a period of renovation. Old decrepit houses are being rebuilt into new homes and the area itself is being cleaned up. By doing this, the city and investors hope to bring a new life and lure potential businesses to the area. While many are excited for the expected growth, some people are concerned about what such changes might mean to the small businesses that populate the area.

The kiosk is convenient for people passing by and this woman is taking advantage of it as she buys a beverage on her way.

“I’ve been here since 1992. Before all these buildings and hospitals and schools. I’m scared about what will happen if there are chains and bigger known places for people to go to,” said local business owner Samira Kapoor.

Kapoor operates her husband’s small kiosk business located at the corner of 15th and Tioga streets. It is an unassuming shop, no bigger than 10-by-eight feet, without a name or sign on the front. The store sells magazines, cigarettes and other cheap miscellaneous items.

Almost every block of Broad Street hosts multiple small businesses of the same nature. Some sell lunch, while others offer a hot cup of coffee for commuters. These shops rely on the business from students and residents to help keep their ventures afloat. If developers move in and build big brand name stores, businesses like Kapoor’s are in danger.

“A lot of the people who stop to buy things are workers. It would be good to get more workers in the area building things and doing construction, that would help me for a bit,” comments Kapoor on the positive the projected growth in the area.


1 Comment

  1. While Samira Kapoor comes in to make her living in nicetown/tioga, she does not live there. Ask the people who have to walk the streets each day of of nicetown/tioga and they’d tell you they are glad about the developments. It would definately increase the quality of life and people like kapoor would have to improve her services by offering a more divisified updated type of merchandise to keep up with the change. The small businesses in tioga/nicetown are not negible enough to sustain the neighborhood, they come and go like fly by night. A dive here, a dive there, shabby and unpaintd for years. Depressing and downgrading the neighborhood for decades. Bullet proof barricades and unfriendly people who come in to make money and leave to return to their protected neighorhood. New investments drive out the crime and makes the strees safer. We welcome lasting and stable businesses, new construction, supermarkets, even a large chain riteaid or CVS. And that equals to more police presence. THIS article seem to be in defense of moms and pops stores but these are the peopel who are sole proprietors in the main who never invest in the neighborhoods and has a certain contempt for it. THey live elswhere and their opposition to development are self serving and they are preventing the neighborhood people from benefiting from jobs that comes in with major chains and in the end improves the standards of living in the neighborhood for long time residents. Kapoor and others liek her are in the minority and very few people from the neighborhood owns businesses for there to be any complaints from them about the shabby building being replaced by new and efecient retailers. Hooray to developments! Nicetown/tioga have waited long enough for this.

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