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Mayor DeBlasio's Continued Shut Down of New York City Restaurants Is Killing their Businesses

Almost 90 percent of New York City restaurants failed to make rent in September

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(The Center Square) – Just days before New York City restaurants were set to resume indoor dining at limited capacity, a new industry survey reports that close to 90 percent of the city’s dining and nightlife establishments failed to make rent in September.

About 87 percent of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs throughout Manhattan and the other four boroughs were behind in paying rent in August, the New York Post reported.

The data came from 457 businesses surveyed by the NYC Hospitality Alliance between Aug. 25 and Sept. 11.

“Even before the pandemic when operating at 100% occupancy, these small businesses were struggling to stay open,” Andrew Rigie, NYC Hospitality Alliance executive director, told the Post. “Now we’re seeing widespread closures, approximately 150,000 industry workers are still out of their jobs, and the overwhelming majority of these remaining small businesses cannot afford to pay rent.

The figures for August are 7% higher than June and 4% higher than July. This disturbing trend hits an industry still reeling from six months of partial to total closures amid the government-mandated shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Almost all – 90% – of the survey respondents said they had tried to work on lease negotiations with their landlords, but they had not been successful.

“The hospitality industry is essential to New York’s economic and social fabric, and to ensure the survival of these vital small businesses and jobs, we urgently need rent relief, an indefinite extension of outdoor dining, a roadmap for expanded indoor dining, covered business interruption insurance and immediate passage of the Restaurants Act by Congress,” Rigie told the Post.

The survey results preceded the reopening of NYC indoor dining at 25% capacity on Sept. 23.

It’s the last region in New York to get the go-ahead. The majority of the state’s 57 counties have been allowed to serve diners inside since June.