The Untouchables

Despite the tough economic climate, some businesses are doing just as well—if not better—than ever. Among them:

» Bankruptcy Lawyers

“Personal bankruptcies are clearly up,” says Lawrence Garvey, a partner with the Tarrytown-based law firm Cushner & Garvey, “about thirty percent over a year ago.” Garvey attributes the increase primarily to the mortgage meltdown.

» Shoe Repair Shops

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“We’ve been in business for forty years, and it’s always remained steady,” says Maria Mastracchio who, with her husband Tony, owns and operates Tony’s Shoe Repair in Ossining.

» Auto Service Shops

People are not just keeping their cars longer nowadays, they’re taking better care of them, too. Plus: “Regardless of the financial climate, people still have accidents,” says Anthony Bowman, shop manager at Farrow’s Auto Service in Pleasantville.

» Pawnbrokers

Joe DeCandido, who oversees Westchester Jewelers & Pawnbrokers in New Rochelle, says he’s seen a marked increase in collateral loans. “Most collateral is in the form of gold and diamond jewelry,” notes DeCandido, who adds that “more and more, we’re seeing wealthier Westchester and Connecticut residents who need some fast, short-term cash.”

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» Storage Facilities

“Whether they’re growing or downsizing, people and businesses need storage,” says Bill Nulk, general manager of Safe Haven Self Storage in Elmsford. “The difference between good times and bad times is the demeanor of our customers. In good times, they’re happy; in bad times, they’re grouchy. We’ve been seeing lots of grouchy customers lately.”

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