There’s No Business Like Small Business

Small businesses contribute to the unique character of neighborhoods in New York City, but they are quickly disappearing! What’s at stake? What challenges are these small businesses facing and what is the city doing to protect them?

In our latest Urban InvestigationCUP and Teaching Artist Sam Holleran tackled this question with a group of high school students from the School for Legal Studies in Williamsburg. To find out more, students interviewed key players like the President of the Real Estate Board of New York, the Chair of the City Council Committee on Small Business, and a small business lawyer. The students created a poster called There’s No Business Like Small Business to share what they found.

Students debuted their project at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, where they presented their poster and shared their creative process.

What People Are Saying

“Talking to people in government was a real experience for me. I was surprised that there’s a person in power who is actually pretty easy to talk to, and can inspire people to get involved in the issue.”— Edison Espinal, student 

Resources & Links

School for Legal Studies

The School for Legal Studies is a small public school in Williamsburg that empowers students with understanding, respect, and civic responsibility. By fostering critical thinking skills, students are encouraged to become advocates for families,communities, and global justice. 

Grand Street Business Improvement District (BID)

The mission of the Grand Street BID is to create a vibrant commercial district and improve the quality of life for the community.

Funding Support

Major support for this program was provided by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Additional support is provided by Council Member Antonio Reynoso

Special Thanks

Tanya Albrigtsen-Frable, Lilibeth Bernal, Amanda Shields, Anna Brown, Claire Frisbee, Daniel Girard, Melanie Quiroz, Jen Robinson, Kristopher Steele, and to our interviewees: Michael Blaise Backer (NYC Department of Small Business Services), John Banks (Real Estate Board New York), Steve Barrison (Small Business Congress), Robert Cornegy (New York City Council), Artineh Haven and Homer Hill (Grand Street BID), Lilia Montesdeoca (grocery store owner)


  • CUP
  • Teaching Artist
  • Sam Holleran
  • Project Lead
  • Christy Herbes

  • Project Support
  • Jenn Anne Williams
  • Christine Gaspar

  • School for Legal Studies
  • Students
  • Yuderly Borbon

    Edison Espinal

    Bryam Garcia

    Michael Lazano

    Autumn Lewis

    Nayerly Suriel