Some NYC business corridors participating in Open Streets did better than before the pandemic

Restaurants and bars in several neighborhoods participating in New York City’s Open Streets program rebounded at more dramatic rates than others during the first year-and-a-half of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report out Tuesday.

The report from the city’s Department of Transportation found that four Open Street corridors — where car traffic was restricted during designated times in Astoria, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Manhattan’s Koreatown — outperformed their pre-pandemic business in the first 18 months after the arrival of COVID-19.

A fifth stretch in Chinatown was the only one of the five corridors that saw a decrease in sales during that period: 8%. But the report notes that it saw a smaller decline than the rest of the borough, with Manhattan seeing a 22% decline on average and a 31% dip for establishments along a “control corridor,” a nearby location without restrictions from Open Streets.

“Cars don’t shop or dine out. People do,” said Transportation Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez at a Tuesday press conference in Chinatown, adding that the Open Streets program is here to stay.

Throughout the city, restaurants and bars along Open Streets corridors saw an average 19% increase in sales compared to their own pre-pandemic levels. Nearby control streets saw a decline of 29%.

The report based its Open Streets findings on taxable sales reported to the Department of Finance from March 1, 2020 to Aug. 31, 2021. The biggest winner of the program appeared to be Astoria: businesses saw a 44% increase in taxable

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Kanye West is no longer a billionaire

New York
CNN Business

Rapper Ye’s falling out with corporate partners has cost him his status as a billionaire, according to Forbes.

In the last few weeks, Ye — also known as Kanye West — has seen luxury fashion house Balenciaga, Gap and most recently Adidas end business relationship with him for antisemitic comments and wearing a shirt with a slogan linked to the Ku Klux Klan.

On Tuesday, Forbes, one of the leading trackers of wealth among the world’s financial elites, declared it had dropped Ye from its list of billionaires. It estimated the Adidas deal accounted for $1.5 billion of his net worth, but Forbes now estimates it at a them $400 million.

Forbes said that the $400 million remaining of his net worth comes from real estate, cash, his music catalog and a 5% stake in ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s shapewear firm, Skims.

Of course, it is likely that Ye still considers himself a billionaire, given that he has complained for years that Forbes was underestimating his net worth. Forbes reported that in 2020 — when it first listed him as a billionaire — he texted the magazine saying, “It’s not a billion. It’s $3.3 billion since no one at Forbes knows how to count.”

For this year’s valuation, Ye sent documents to Forbes claiming his Adidas partnership alone was worth $4.3 billion, and has claimed elsewhere that his net worth was about $7 billion.

CNN has reached out to a representative of West for comment.

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Mass. small business sales mostly won’t trigger ‘millionaire’s tax,’ report finds

Small business sales in Massachusetts, in the vast majority of circumstances, would not trigger the so-called Fair Share Amendment or millionaires tax, should the contentious ballot question succeed at the polls next month, a new report released Monday finds.

Opponents of Ballot Question 1, which would impose a 4% surtax on incomes exceeding $1 million, warn that one-time earnings — including from the sale of businesses — could disproportionately harm small business owners and their nest eggs as they wrestle with the impact of the referendum. Funding from the tax is intended to augment transportation and education spending.

But only 123 small businesses sold from the first quarter of 2017 through the third quarter of 2022 notched prices between $1 million and roughly $3.5 million, according to the report from the left-leaning Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, which based its analysis on data from Put differently, an average of only 21 businesses in question sold each year for prices topping $1 million.

  • Read more: Will the millionaires tax on the November ballot help Mass. residents? It depends, new report finds

That’s culled from a data set that identified about 1,400 businesses that sold for below $3.5 million, which the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center described as “a reasonable cutoff for what most of us would consider an upper bound value for a ‘small business.’” The median sale price, on average, was less than $290,000.

“But even for the owners who do manage to sell their business for more than

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