2018-02-21 / Editorials

Use It Or Lose It: Shop Locally

While construction is constructive, and will one day be complete—we hope—we feel there must be a way to accomplish this without driving people crazy—and driving customers away. Aside from the commuting misery, we want to emphasize the dire consequences the draconian renovation schedule has wrought for the local economy. With train stations completely shut down for repairs, local businesses everywhere in Astoria are suffering from the decimation of foot traffic they have been built upon—some have even gone out of business. We covered in the Gazette last week two important stories about the community coming together to say “that’s enough.” (To read “Community Rallies Against MTA Construction Plan At Ditmars Boulevard Station” and “30th Ave. Businesses Rally Against Complete Station Shutdowns,” visit QGazette.com, February 14, 2018). It is not right that our infrastructure has been allowed to decay to this degree, forcing us into near-emergency mode. But ultimately it is not the community’s fault and they should not be the ones to suffer. This affects all of Queens— LaGuardia Airport, all trains, planes, buses, and roads, etc., from one end of our borough to the other.

It is a crucial time for our neighborhoods, booming as they are at record levels, unprecedented in our lifetime; why are so many businesses hurting? Without getting into a philosophical debate about Amazon’s (and other online shopping’s) effect on local businesses, we do want to point out that those local shops and businesses really anchor neighborhoods, keep the economy thriving, and make the city the happening place it still is. With that in mind, there is something you can do to preserve our great way of life here, and that is to truly shop locally whenever you can. It is really important, especially when our neighborhoods are so negatively impacted by major construction on trains, streets, roads and everywhere else. If you don’t shop local, those stores might not be there later when you need them.

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