Business trends in NYC: Real estate agents expand ranks; laundry services ebb | Hoodline

Local businesses are the heartbeat of the city, providing jobs, diversions, products and services to locals and visitors alike. And while change is constant in business and the cycle of openings and closings can sometimes hide the bigger picture, business trends can help to measure the pulse of the city.

So Hoodline analyzed data from business pages on Yelp to see which business categories are gaining ground in the past month, which are on the decline, and what areas of the city may be seeing changes in the local business landscape.


It seems to have been a positive month for New York City's real estate agents, with 43 new Yelp business pages created in that category, including Janine Iannelli - RE/MAX Real Estate Professionals. That's a 1.5 percent rate of growth for that type of operation. (New York City already boasts 2,863 real estate agent businesses.)

For comparison, the total number of retail and service businesses grew 1.5 percent citywide in the same time period, while total dining options in the city grew 0.5 percent, again based on the rate of business pages created vs. pages marked as "closed" on Yelp.

The six businesses categories that saw the biggest gain or loss in Yelp business pages since January 2018. The bold line highlights the category that grew most in the past month. | GRAPHIC: HOODLINE

New business pages also point to gains for coffee and tea spots and for contractors, based on a month-over-month analysis of Yelp data.

With eight new business pages appearing in Bath Beach over the past month--the most among the city's neighborhoods--the area was a hotbed of real estate agent activity (relatively speaking, of course).

That's not surprising, considering Bath Beach was already home to a core of the city's real estate agent businesses, according to Yelp data.

New coffee and tea spot Maman is now open in Tribeca. | Photo: Mike C./Yelp

When it comes to food and drink establishments, the name of the game is coffee and tea, which this month saw 41 new business pages created--the most for any food and drink category--for a total of 3,850 in the city. Tribeca's Maman is one of them.

You also have more options for traditional American cuisine and bubble tea than you did a month ago, by Yelp's latest count.

Some business categories grew greatly in percentage terms. For instance, business pages for axe throwing establishments increased 33 percent in the past month. But that's due to the addition of just one business page, bringing the total to five. Real estate agents saw more notable growth, adding 58 business pages for a two percent increase. The greater number of initial businesses means the percentage growth is less likely to be a fluke in the data.

The six categories of businesses in the city that had the largest percentage gain or loss in pages listed on Yelp since January 2018. The bold line highlights the category that performed best in the past month. | GRAPHIC: HOODLINE

Business closures are a fact of life. But just which types of businesses saw net declines over the past month, based on Yelp data?

Pages for laundry services had the biggest slide in New York City, with seven businesses marked as "closed" on Yelp, including Green Parrot Laundry. Pages for doctors also fell in total numbers last month.

As far as places to eat go, cafes may be losing ground as well.

Just as some neighborhoods are more residential while others have a commercial concentration, business openings and closings do not happen evenly across the city. We calculated the net change in new Yelp pages vs. deleted or marked "closed" to get a handle on which New York City neighborhoods saw the largest relative gains and losses in commercial establishments of all types.

In the past month, Ditmars Steinway experienced the city's largest net loss of businesses, according to Yelp page counts. Total business pages for the neighborhood fell by 17 overall. Meanwhile, Flushing led the city's neighborhoods, with a net gain of 75 newly created business pages across categories.

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