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South Bronx experiencing wave of economic growth, but struggles remain

Report shows economic growth in the South Bronx
Report shows economic growth in the South Bronx 02:12

NEW YORK -- A new report by the State Comptroller's Office says the South Bronx is experiencing a wave of economic growth, despite the challenges and obstacles the neighborhood faced during the pandemic.

CBS New York has more on how the report reflects everyday life for people in the borough.

What it shows is that the area is undergoing a period of revitalization. In Mott Haven, for example, new businesses and buildings are popping up.

One of those businesses is Bronx Native, a clothing shop created by Amaurys Grullon that came into the neighborhood six years ago.

"I was 20 and I opened my eyes and I said, I have to do something for the Bronx. I have to do something for us," Grullon said.

Grullon, a native of the Bronx, is an artist and entrepreneur that creates clothing that represents the culture and people of the borough.

"Bronx educator, you know, we love our educators," Grullon said.

The comptroller's report says in 2022, the South Bronx had 20% more businesses than in 2011, the highest growth rate across the borough and city.

But Grullon said to be a new small business in the area is to make a difference in the community. That's why he creates events that give back to those in need.

"For a long time, systematically, the Bronx has been last place for a lot of different things," Grullon said. "It was us solving a problem in a way."

Despite the growth, the report details the struggles the community faces, with 36% of residents experiencing a severe rent burden and the high rates of asthma from poor air quality.

"If we don't fight together and band together to address the issues of environmental injustices, public health injustices, the affordable housing crisis here in the South Bronx, than nobody else will," said Matthew Shore, of the group South Bronx Unite.

Shore said though he wished the report detailed more of the systemic issues the community experiences, he hopes the state can focus on the future of small businesses.

"We need serious conversations on how the everyday mom-and-pop shop on 138th Street ... these kinds of working class commercial corridors, where the businesses are owned by people of color and immigrants, can really be strengthened," Shore said.

Shosh Bedrosian is our community reporter in the Bronx. If you have a story idea, you can reach her at

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