Croton-on-Hudson, NY – For more than fifty years commuters have been stopping by the Cohen’s coffee shop at the Croton Harmon Train Station for coffee and conversation before beginning their long trip to work. Now, lease negotiations with the MTA may derail this successful and longstanding business.
In 2011, the MTA instituted a policy requiring a transparent request for proposal (RFP) process as a result of legislation passed by lawmakers. As a result, small business owners like Nacee Cohen, must submit bids in order to keep their businesses open for their customers. MTA officials say this is so they can maximize their assets. Now, Nancee Cohen is faced with the possibility of losing the business that she and her family have built for the past two generations.
State Senator Terrence Murphy, who is a small business owner said, “It is a terrible thing when common sense is overshadowed by profiteering. New York State continues to make it too expensive for businesses to survive and here we have a prime example of New York bureaucracy undercutting a staple of our community.”
The MTA performed their first walk through of the site yesterday. The deadline for all bids to occupy the space is August 4th. The community has started an online petition in support of the Cohen’s remaining as proprietors of the shop which has garnered more than 1,000 signatures.
Senator Murphy continued, “Government has grown to the point that it is just not user friendly. If we are serious about improving the business climate in New York State than we must invest the resources to improve communication and dialogue between agencies and proprietors. What is happening to the Cohen Family is indicative of what is happening to businesses across New York State.”
Commuters and neighbors are hoping their next cup of coffee will be served just as it has been for the past fifty-one years.