Shah Miah, 45, owns 2nd Ave Grocery & Smoke Shop, a bodega in Kips Bay. The Bangladeshi immigrant has been in the neighborhood for 23 years, owning his bodega with his brother for almost eight. Shah spoke to The Post’s Kelly Jane Torrance about the dangers his industry faces. Here’s an edited transcript:
I do [worry]. I do for my guys. However, you know the community accepted me. I get along with the community so well, sometimes I feel like they’re protecting me. People come in with people outside the community, and if they see them try something, they say, “No, not here.”
One of my guys got robbed — three young kids came in jumped on him. They got arrested. They got jailed again. It was a couple years back though. You know, Mr. de Blasio with bail reform went over the line in this. Yes, bail reform has made people more willing to do things when they don’t feel like they’re going to face any punishment.
New York City is going [thumbs-down]. The population looks empty, especially in the morning. I live on the Lower East Side, so I drive up First Avenue to get to the store. It’s like more nightlife than day life. One day, suddenly, no one’s there in the daytime, it’s all nightlife. When you do see people, they’re hanging around, smoking pot.
I try, too. It’s the only way if somebody doesn’t have a nickel or a dime, they’re short. You have to do the community business, and it’s tough. See, things are so expensive. And I try to look the other way if you try to be a dime shorter than most people. It’s about survival.
The case of chips that I used to buy for $16, I pay $23 — [nearly 50%] more. Then when you try to pass it to the customer, some get upset.
Yeah, we get aggressive customers. At least two times every six months I have to call the police. If they run away with candy, I don’t do anything. If they run away with a beer, I won’t call the cops. They’ll come to shut down your store, the neighborhood is watching. I don’t want to defund the police. Cops are not our enemies — 99% of the cops are good cops.
Right now, I feel like they should control the homeless. Because I go here and there. I go to the bank at night to make deposits. One night, three guys were there. Instead of asking for a dollar, the guy says, “Gimme a hundred dollars.” I felt bad. They got a little loud with me. I said, “Listen, man, this money isn’t mine. I have to cover my debt. So please, if it was $1, yeah, but you’re asking me for something that I cannot give it to you.” What are you gonna do? I stayed quiet. And he was OK.
I’m here to survive, not to make enemies. I’m a small mom-and-dad, nickel-and-dime place. With the inflation, the margin is even worse. Everything is up, and you try to keep the balance. What are you gonna do?
Soruce : https://nypost.com/2022/07/11/its-about-survival-nyc-bodega-owner-shares-his-anxiety/