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It appears that the relationship has been quite good. The financial sector flourished for years, for example. I'm unsure about changes in laws promotive to first time and small businesses, but I need to check that out, as that would be a good way to keep measure
I'd say it has a lot to do with technology and demand Ex: bakeries, restaurants vs. internet businesses. Tansportation (cabs vs. horse and carriage)
oops...Transportation. I have to go to sleep.
I just posted this and it was lost..their pizza is famous everywhere..sometimes is because the business owner moves to get out of the City or retire. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York-style_pizza
It seems that most pizza shops were privately owned..Sbarro turned into a chain.
Bagel shops..I recently read about an ice cream vendor that stills transports milk to the City.
Actually, I think I met a guy who still transports milk to the City from Vermont for ice cream.
NY City street vendors..catering to the lunch market for quicker service and walk by quick food purchases.
http://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images?_adv_prop=image&fr=slv8-w3i&va=ny+street+vendors You don't have to pay the high cost of renting buildings for businesses...they have them in Boston and most major cities. The larger the city, the more varieties of vendors such as clothing, etc. I used to live in Boston. I thought of being a street vendor once. It is still costly. You still need to buy a street vendor license there and have to pay a rental to store your cart.
But you don't have the monthly overhead of electricity, phone....you get to work outdoors..the major downfall is bad weather and easier to steal from a cart than a store sometimes.
read about Enstein Bagels.... http://www.kitchenproject.com/history/bagels/bagels.htm
here is another good link to NY City Bagels: http://www.nyc24.org/2002/issue01/story02/page03.asp It talks about the Thompson Bagel Machine and Lender's Bagels sold in markets in the freezer section.
I was also a couple of places (Georgetown, SC?) where when trade and commerce fell off, Jewish people moved to NY for the garment industry.
I think Newport, RI may have been another one. In cities like NY, there is the opportunity to make more money because of the population. Unfortunately, there is also more overhead.
NY City is like the Melting Pot of the US..all cultures and religions live there. If you do not have a space in a lesser populated area, there may be someone of your culture to make you feel welcome(or at least feel like you are at home) in NY, even though there is a much higher crime rate as opposed to a smaller area. Crime has a lot to do with what type of business you run and if you succeed or not.
This is a great link to the garment industry..it mentions Jewish immigrant "entrepeneurship" starting around the Civil War up unto WWII when they could not trade with European textile manufacturers because of the War...sweatshops. http://www.gothamcenter.org/garment/
I know this one isn't really considered a "money maker" (business for profit) but people who work for charitabe organizations doing volunteer work to help those in need is also a form of entrepeneurship. There are a lot of churches who help those who can't make it in the mass market, so to speak. They work very ard, but are often not looked at as having "jobs"...and if you donate, you can get a tax write-off. You may want to read about William Randoplh Hearst on: http://www.NewWorldEncyclopedia.org/entry/William_Randoplh_Hearst who used his money for various enterprises including war funding and opening soup kitchens at two ends of the city. I lost the link on that though. I do not know if it is on the site I suggested. I guess you could listen to Frank Sinatra sing..."if I can make it there, I can make it anywhere..." Broadway would be another example...or Radio City Music Hall...NY has everything.
Because I mentioned the Garment Industry, I have to include this photo related to Children's Labor Laws: http://www.NewWorldEncyclopedia.org/entry/Child_Labor It is a story on social work and halfway down the page there is a section labeled, "Movements Against Child Labor" which includes a photo of a NY City protest from 1909.