Recession roughing up shoe shiners

August 5, 2011 1:29:57 PM PDT
If your shoes are scuffed, you can bet that Don Ward will let you know, partly because the recession has roughed up the shoe shiners. Now, New York is turning into the city that never shines.

Men like Don Ward have had to adjust their style so customers will take a shine to them.

"I'm actually initiating to keep it alive," says Ward.

Grand Central Terminal provided shoe shine stands to eight shoe shiners almost 20 years ago. That number has now dropped to three. People like Ward have the opportunity to keep them alive in the Grand Central neighborhood.

These street level businessmen are expanding their services, and are also offering to clean sneakers and sandals.

However, a fading profession may become a memory for consumers not willing to sit for a shine.