The coronavirus pandemic continues to impose a severe economic toll on New York City’s eateries and pubs — with 83 percent of establishments saying they’re unable to make their full July rent and 37 percent unable to pay at all, a survey released Monday reveals.
The NYC Hospitality Alliance poll of 471 restaurants, bars and nightclubs mirrors the results of a June survey — when the overwhelming majority of businesses were unable to cover their rent.
With indoor dining service still on pause and al fresco dining service not generating sufficient revenue to cover rent and other expenses, small business owners in the food and booze industry worry about surviving the pandemic, the alliance said.
“Restaurants and nightlife venues are essential to the economic and social fabric of our city, but they are struggling to survive and absent immediate and sweeping relief so many will be forced to close permanently,” said Andrew Rigie, the Hospitality Alliance’s executive director.
Restaurateurs and pub owners are struggling to get relief from landlords, some of whom are struggling to pay their own bills, Rigie said.
For example, 71 percent of survey respondents said landlords would not waive portions of rent due to COVID-19, 61 percent would not defer rent payments and 90 percent of landlords had not formally renegotiated leases.
About one-quarter of respondents did say they were currently in talks to try to renegotiate their rent payments.
The release of the findings comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo has unleashed state inspectors on establishments with liquor licenses that have violated COVID-19 public health measures, including hosting hordes of partying patrons who weren’t wearing masks, had violated social distance rules or failed to serve food with their drinks.
Some 60 businesses had their licenses suspended — including the historic White Horse Tavern in Greenwich Village and Nello on the Upper East Side.
Rigie has maintained that the overwhelming majority of bar and restaurant owners are abiding by the public health rules — and paying the price.
“While complying with the necessary pause, our industry has been uniquely and financially devastated. Small businesses urgently need solutions from government leaders at the city, state, and federal level, inclusive of extending the moratorium on evictions, extending the suspension of personal liability guarantees in leases, pausing commercial rent taxes, providing landlords with needed support, and infusing small businesses with enough cash to weather the storm,” he said.
Credit: Source link