Businesses in Brooklyn’s ‘Little Pakistan’ struggling to stay afloat

MIDWOOD, Brooklyn (PIX11) — Beloved businesses in Brooklyn’s “Little Pakistan” are struggling to stay afloat due to rising costs, raising concerns about the future of the vibrant community hub.

Nosheen Ahmed, owner of Future Fashion, a cornerstone of the community for over 33 years, shared the challenges they’re facing. “Everything is increasing,” Ahmed said. “Since last year, inflation, shipping prices, everything has jumped up, making it really difficult.”

Future Fashion is more than just a store; it’s a cultural center, fostering a sense of belonging and connection for the Pakistani community. However, Ahmed explained they’re caught between increasing costs and their commitment to keeping prices reasonable for their customers.

“Everything is going up – rent, bills, products – and we’re trying our best not to burden the customers,” Ahmed said. “It feels like small businesses are left to fend for themselves.”

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These struggles aren’t unique to Future Fashion. Many businesses along Coney Island Avenue are facing similar challenges.

Randy Peers, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, acknowledged the broader crisis and offered solutions. He emphasized the need for a comprehensive strategy for small businesses like Ahmed’s to navigate these tough times.

“We have the small business resource network,” Peers explained. “We actually have field teams that go out in the communities and connect businesses one-on-one with resources that are available.”

Peers also pointed out that many businesses haven’t yet adapted to the digital age, lacking an online presence and effective digital marketing strategies.

Despite the challenges, the community is rallying around Future Fashion and other struggling businesses, determined to preserve the cultural fabric of Coney Island Avenue.

While facing stress, Ahmed maintains a sense of hope. “It’s stressful at times,” she shared, “but faith is a big thing for us, and we believe that whatever you get, God’s going to give you what you’re going to get.”

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