Gary suffers from retail deserts that force many residents to travel long distances for basic necessities like fresh produce, prescription drugs and clothes. The situation is diminishing quality of life, taking a toll on residents' long-term health and eroding the tax base. After a half-century of decline, retail faces many obstacles in the Steel City like a shrinking population, crumbling infrastructure and government red tape. But many merchants soldier on, and officials have ideas for how to make it easier to keep a business afloat in the city.