‘The great upswing:’ Business owners are optimistic on City Island
One may believe business is down in City Island due to some empty store fronts, but store owners are telling News 12 that business is doing well, especially during the off-season.
With more than four decades of running “Focal Point Gallery,” Ron Terner has seen the good times and the bad.
“I’ve been through them all being here for 45 years and I feel that it’s on a really great upswing,” Terner said.
Skip Giacco, the president of the City Island Chamber of Commerce, agrees. Despite online shopping changing the retail game and the view of shuttered storefronts, nine new businesses opened on the island in the last two years.
Giacco said that out of the approximately 100 retail spaces on the island, about 20 have been empty the past few years. Now, that number is down to 14.
The newest additions to the neighborhood include a gallery, coffee shop, deli and soon-to-open smoothie spot. Some of the new owners are feeling wary about the vacancies, but they are all optimistic about their futures here.
“It doesn’t mean that you can’t have a business, you just have to approach it the right way,” a business owner said.
Business leaders on the island told News 12 that what gives a business staying power is finding a niche that fits the City Island feel.
“Because City Island is, in my opinion, the brand, the product," Giacco said. "People will come here, and then it’s up to the individual business owners to make them want to come back.”