NYC to Philly: Small Businesses Find Success By Moving Out of the Big Apple

Some small business owners have found success by moving out of New York City and into Philly where rent costs are cheaper.

Some small business owners have been fleeing New York to pursue their dreams in the city of Brotherly Love.

Sylvie Gallier Howard, the First Deputy Commerce Director for the Philadelphia Commerce Department, told NBC10 she is seeing more interest from New York companies.

“What we’re hearing is it’s so expensive to do business there. The rental costs are about three times the amount they are here,” Howard said.

The high cost of running a business in New York is what brought Armando Tapia, owner of Crème Brulee Bistro, to Philly.

Tapia emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico in the late '90s. He found work washing dishes at a pastry company in New York, but his dream was to start his own business one day.

The high cost of running a business in America’s largest city, however, meant that Tapia had to relocate. He said it would cost him “seven times more” than what he pays in Philadelphia to operate in New York.

“This was one of my biggest dreams since I came to the United States,” Tapia said. “I moved from New York to Philadelphia to do my dream.”

Furniture-maker Brian Christopher also decided to leave New York with his custom furniture business, Bicylette, because of the high costs of operating a business in the city.

“It didn’t make sense to cut my teeth in New York based off the pricing there,” Christopher said. “Philadelphia is not the kind of place you’re going to get rushed out the door of because of pricing.”

Small businesses are helping bring jobs to the area. Between 2015 and 2017 the city’s job growth was 3.6 percent, according to the Commerce Department. In New York, it was 2.7 percent, Howard said.

“We’re promoting all that we have to offer to businesses and to people who want to come and work here,” Howard said. “You don’t have to live an expensive environment."

For Tapia and Christopher, moving to Philadelphia was the right decision.

“I wake up every day very happy,” Tapia said. "I do this for my kids."

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