Live Shopping at Public Housing in NY. Will this city rise?

Many nights, after a long day after her two children were out of school, Tamykah Anthony stood on the stove, cooking a delicious meal in her kitchen at Queensbridge House, a large public residence in New York City.

Encouraged by longevity and science, he began selling the products in 2017, hoping to provide financial stability for his family. Now, after her business, Xanthines All Natural Products, survivor roller coaster of the past two years, Ms. Anthony, 36, is considering looking for a manufacturing company.

“I know food vendors should be in a five-star restaurant,” Ms Anthony said, referring to her neighbors in Queensbridge, Long Island City. “I know people who can tear tiles. I know hairdressers. But the transition from being a nice thing to shopping, there’s a big gap there.”

As New York City workers strive to ensure a fair economic recovery from the disease, a new report this week from the Center for an Urban Future, a non-profit organization, points out what the group described as an urgent need to support hundreds of people. entrepreneurs like Ms. Anthony live in public housing.

Managed by the New York City Housing Authority, which operates the largest public housing in the country, it is home to more than 266,000 seniors, many of whom are increasingly earning money from in the home business.

Unpaid businesses and unregistered clients are often the main source of income or supplement to full-time employment. Inside the Mitchel Houses room in the South Bronx, residents’ posters advertise side-by-side advertisements like eyebrows and hair.

In New York City, the economic downturn of infectious diseases has sparked a boom in business as an alternative to jobs that may not return for years, the new report said.

Nearly a quarter of NYCHA residents work in companies that are in a hurry to recover, including restaurants, grocery stores and restaurants. And proponents of the plan say the unemployment rate among residents is around 25 to 35 percent, compared to 7 percent nationwide.

But the report revealed that New York City’s small business aid program has not been successful in reaching large numbers of NYCHA residents, with the average household income being about $ 25,000.

Jonathan Bowles, president of the Center for an Urban Future, said: “This could be a huge business opportunity not being met in the community.

The current NYCHA training program for commercial marketing focuses solely on the food and child care business, with the exception of all other companies. The program has limited capacity, the report said, as well as hundreds of applicants for more seats than available.

A spokesman for the city’s small business sector said the departments were selected for their growth as well as their low barriers to entry.

Last year, about 1,600 NYCHA residents reported owning their own business – less than 1 percent of NYCHA’s population, but five times more than in 2012, the report said.

The rising interest in commercial trade reflects the country’s rapid growth during this epidemic. By 2020, Americans accounted for about 4.3 million business start-ups, statistics show, the highest number in a decade and a half set by the government. New business applications higher than in 2021.

Many have been laid off because of need, while others have come to realize that they have a responsibility to be their own leader.

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Ms. Anthony started working. For two years, he worked from 3pm to 11pm at a mall in Madison Square Garden, then flew to La Guardia airport to do midnight shift at the train table land lease.

He wanted to become a scientist and later enrolled in the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, graduating with a degree in toxicology. But he suffered a major setback in 2015 when he was diagnosed with a rare eye disorder that damaged his vision, damaging his motivation to pursue a lab.

With money falling short, Ms. Anthony turned her hobbies into a full-time pursuit. He taught science to children in Brooklyn and Queens. He did research on how to make deodorant and toothpaste at home, selling them to local residents.

During this epidemic, his business benefited from an increase in online legislation for elderberry gummies made at home, by people looking for food they believed promoted prevention. Last year, he also became a yoga teacher at doula.

“I am no longer in a state of survival,” said Ms. Anthony. “For my vision of what I want to give my children, I now want to leave NYCHA.”

For Jonathan Alexander, the success of his food business, which he started while living on Todt Hill Houses on Staten Island, allowed him to get out of the mess and into the basement by the end of 2019, during which time started empanada takeout. restaurant.

Mr. Alexander, 32, has started his own food company in 2018, serving staff at corporate events. He pursued his cooking dream after many years of construction work which resulted in a permanent fire trap in his arm.

But when she worked at a restaurant in the New York City area, she often faced disrespect and contempt, embarrassing herself by talking to people co-workers live with her on her mother’s bed in public.

She says: “I used to cry in my mother’s bed. “I know I was arrested because of my social status, being out of the job, being black, being poor.”

The restaurant and its restaurant go out folded during the illness. In the aftermath of the devastating floods, Hurricane Ida destroyed her home on Staten Island last summer, wiping out cooking utensils worth thousands of dollars.

Social media became a way of life. Mr. Alexander found popular guests on apps like Instagram and Clubhouse, asking them how to negotiate contracts and raise money. It joins EatOkra, an app that promotes black food. He delivered free gigs of free food from the Jitjatjo app.

Verbally, Mr. Calendar Alexander is now filling up on personal chef bookings, including a recent donation of $ 22,000 to cook for the family in the Hamptons for a month. She and her son recently moved into a new home.

For NYCHA residents, one obstacle to growing a business is the fear that getting more money will increase their mortgage. Real estate agents calculate the monthly mortgage based on the value of the resident bank account. Last year, the average cost of public housing in New York was $ 533.

This system, according to the new report, discourages homeowners from saving money to start a business or to report personal finance. Residents of NYCHA can also get rid of other government benefits, such as food stamps, if their income exceeds one threshold.

The report said New York City has done little to enroll NYCHA residents in the federal family vacation program, which allows residents of public buildings to deposit money in an unpaid escrow account for rent.

Brandi Covington, 44, who started her own food company in 2017 while living in Pomonok Houses in Queens, now has 20 employees after developing clients and gaining community contracts. But the plague taught him how to raise money for a rainy day for the first time.

He says: “Having enough money is a new experience. “In the short term, we have stupidity because we have more than exactly what we want.”

She does the job, Cooking With Corey, with her fiancé, Corey Whittenburg, 40, a professional chef. Their main contract is to deliver students to the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, a college on the Upper West Side.

The success of the business led Ms. Covington left NYCHA last year and moved into a building in College Point, Queens.

At Ojala Threads, an online store that sells children’s clothing programs featuring Caribbean heritage, 2021 is the best year ever, selling for nearly $ 6,000.

Its founder, Ramona Ferreyra, 41, a resident of Mitchel Houses in the South Bronx, turned to business in 2018 after being able to perform physical work in the office due to autoimmune disease.

Ms. Ferreyra’s biggest challenge right now is to find a cheap retailer where you can showcase your products.

“I didn’t think of being poor all my life,” Mrs. Ferreyra said. “Shopping is my free way of the economy.”

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