Did NYC Bounce Back in 2021? Manhattan vs. Brooklyn

A silhouette of the Statue of Liberty and iconic New York City bridges appears against a bright blue background, with a rising trend line across the top

While the latest COVID-19 variant and cascading supply chain challenges continue to throttle the U.S. economy, a number of sectors have managed to navigate the pandemic remarkably well. In New York, the first American hub to have been deeply hit by the pandemic, recovery is well on its way; across some industries, the comeback dwarfs the first positive signs of resurgence in the summer of 2020.  

Using our business entity-level data on credit card transaction amounts, we explored the difference between industries in Manhattan and Brooklyn, two of the city's best-known boroughs. Here’s what we found.

Growth Industries By Zip Code: Brooklyn and Manhattan

The map below depicts the industries with the largest year-on-year growth (June, July, and August 2020 vs. those same summer months in 2021) across Manhattan and Brooklyn zip codes.

Hovering on the map will display the zip code and the highest-growth industry in that area, in addition to selecting the other zip codes also saw that industry on top.

Note both the differences between the two boroughs — personal care services are best-performers in Manhattan alone, for example, while leisure facilities are noteworthy in Brooklyn — and within each of the boroughs themselves.

Growth Trends by Borough

We also assessed the highest growth industries in each borough in the charts below.

Bar chart showing top 15 best-recovering industries in Brooklyn, 2020 vs. 2021

Indeed, leisure facilities saw more than double the transaction amounts in summer 2021 relative to the year prior.

In Manhattan, like in Brooklyn, the top spot was claimed by tourism-related businesses, with hobby, toy, and game stores taking second place.

Chart showing top 15 best-recovering industries in Manhattan, 2020 vs. 2021

An interesting trend to note: we saw parallel growth focused on the home front, with the rise of pandemic-era home improvement, and also out on the town: a return to enjoying the food and entertainment that the city has to offer (though the latter seems to be winning).

Bar chart showing the growth of revenues in home improvement & home furnishing industries in Manhattan
Bar chart showing growth of revenues in Manhattan in industries related to entertainment, like hotels, casinos and restaurants

For more insights on pandemic effects and small business recovery, explore the State of the SMB Economy Report.


We combined NAICS code classification data for over 75,000 businesses locations for all businesses in Enigma’s database located within New York state's Kings and New York counties to create a list of businesses located in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Using our Merchant Transaction Signals we then calculated their year-on-year growth in the summer of 2021 (average monthly transactions across June, July, & August 2021 vs. average monthly transactions for June, July, & August 2020).

For our map, an industry was required to have at least 5 businesses at the zip code level in order to include it as a high-growth category. For the borough-level comparisons, we set a floor of 50 businesses per industry. The total sample included over 75,000 enterprises.

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