THE BRONX - With the economy still in recession, many locally owned shops in City Island have been forced to shut down.

There are now at least 37 vacant shops along the mile and a half strip, which was once home to several busy mom-and-pop stores. Owners who have managed to stay open say they are struggling to survive.

According to merchants, there is less foot traffic than in the past, and major retailers and store chains have hurt their sales.