Storefront vacancy at highest recent level

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Storefront vacancy in Manhattan is currently at 6.5 percent, the highest level since the early 1990s, according to data from Marcus & Millichap. The report says one in 10 small retail stores that once lined the streets of Soho have shuttered. In response to the plight of small businesses in Manhattan, the city is considering a Small Business Survival Act, which would give businesses the option of 10-year leases, renewals and the right to mediation if they cannot reach lease agreements. But the Bloomberg administration has not supported the act, arguing that tracking lease negotiations would be too costly. Storefronts in neighborhoods with steady foot traffic from tourists, such as Times Square, have not seen as many closings.