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A Small City Comeback, Interrupted

As the pandemic takes a toll on local businesses, Troy, New York, is trying to hold on to its hard-won economic gains — and plan for a more equitable future. 

A handful of storefronts in downtown Troy have been emptied as businesses closed during the pandemic.

Photographer: Mike De Socio/Bloomberg 

When Debra Lockrow opened her art and antique store ten years ago, hers was one of the few shops that occupied the tight grid of brownstones and brick storefronts in Troy, New York. There were so many empty buildings downtown that she could regularly borrow vacant spaces to host monthly, pop-up art shows.

“It’s a really good problem to have that we can’t do that anymore,” she said. “It means that the businesses are all filled.”