In an attempt to respond to the well-chronicled struggles of small retailers, New York City will begin compiling a database of storefronts that will track vacancies and hopefully prompt future policies toward aiding small business owners. The city has been in the grips of a vacancy crisis, which has been largely attributed to rising rents and the dominance of online retailers. With the passage of five bills on Tuesday, the City Council is hoping to gain a better understanding of the problem. Three of the bills require annual reporting on storefront vacancies, the business environment, and specific tracking of mom-and-pop shops. The data, which will be gathered by the Department of Finance, will include size as well as occupancy status and monthly rents if the property is being leased. Read more at Gothamist.