The economic crisis is hitting Second Avenue business owners already hurting thanks to construction of the new subway line. Eight stores on a torn-up stretch from 91st to 96th Streets have shuttered since work began eighteen months ago, and the survivors fear that without help from the cash-strapped city or state, they’ll be next. “We’re down to a skeleton crew. There’s nothing else for us to cut,” says Danny Carrero, who owns the Eastview Pharmacy at the corner of 91st Street. Barbara Reif, whose family has run Reif’s Tavern on 92nd Street for 66 years, says they’re four months behind on paying bills. “It’s killed our foot traffic,” she says. The Second Avenue Business Association lobbied Albany for a $4 million grant, but it fell victim to Governor Paterson’s belt-tightening. “My only hope is that construction starts bothering Elaine’s,” jokes Blondies Sports bar co-owner Joseph McKenna. “She has enough contacts; maybe she can come to the rescue.”
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