to the editor: re: "mom and pop on life support" (jan. 22), about the continued loss of proprietor-owned and mom-and-pop businesses, one of the main problems is that local residents often do not know what alternatives they have to chain stores and corporate-owned businesses. the west 75th street block association, with the assistance of council member gale brewer, is doing something about this on the upper west side. in a few months, residents will have a comprehensive, easy-to-follow guide to local and proprietor-owned businesses between 66th and 86th streets, from park to park. this guide will not only include the name, address and telephone number of the business, but the owner/proprietor's name, website/email addresses, length of time in business and, for those who may have difficulty getting around, whether that business (particularly pharmacies) delivers. for the first time, residents will be able to consciously and deliberately support the local businesses that make our community so diverse and vibrant.
it is, of course, possible that many of the businesses included in our guide will be slightly more expensive than chain stores and corporate-owned businesses. however, statistics indicate that it is the smaller, local stores that are responsible for the economic stability of a neighborhood. thus, we ask our neighbors to consider that even if they pay a few pennies more for the same items, they will be contributing to maintaining the diversity of the community by keeping mom-and-pop shops in business, and helping to fight off the rampant "corporatization" of our neighborhoods with "big box" and chain stores.
deanna rieber, president scot steinberg and ian alterman, co-chairs, small business committee west 75th street block association
letters have been edited for clarity, style and brevity