Hunting Park Tires is a lot like other small businesses in the area.
Family owned and operated, it caters to an array of regulars while also servicing anyone with tire troubles on East Hunting Park Avenue.
However, like many other small businesses in Hunting Park, the company has also faced a difficult series of bureaucratic roadblocks set up by the city.
“When we first started we had no papers or license and the city came and shut us down,” said Pete Pizarro, who owns the shop alongside his sister.
Pizarro’s father started the store eight years ago solely selling used tires. Some attempts to offer more services have been successful as the shop now also repairs tires and is state certified in inspections and emission testing. It has been passed on to Pizzaro and his sister, but an attempt to expand the store into a nearby lot had been unsuccessful.
“The city asked us for a soil sample and we sent it and got denied. Then we sent it again and kept getting caught up in everything. So we gave up on the idea,” Pizarro said.
“The city just wants money,” Pizarro said. “If you want to open a business you need to open a business account and then you have to get a lawyer and that costs you $1,500. We pay our taxes and everything, it just ends up being too much.”
Originally the store only employed one person. The owners now have four employees working at the shop and have become a reliable service for local residents.
“They are fast, they get the job done,” said Christopher Cruz, a patron of Hunting Park Tires who lives on B Street. “The other day I went to Best Buy and busted a tire. I had a guy telling me it would take me two hours to get a plug to fix the hole. But I came right over here and they had it done in five minutes.”
Business is not as bad as it could be, but Pizarro said he is an honest worker who deserves more help from the city.
“I’m not doing any crime. I’m not a nuisance or anything,” Pizarro said. “In fact, I’m just trying to help out the neighborhood and [the city] wont give me my help.”