COVID-19: Half of NYC’s restaurants, bars may close for good due to audit

As many as half of New York City’s bars and restaurants could be permanently shut down in the next six months due to the coronavirus, according to a stunning new audit data released Thursday by state comptroller Thomas Dinapoli.

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The report puts the extent of the economic impact of the epidemic on one of the city’s lifestyle industries, which on Wednesday saw only a return to indoor dining – 25 percent less than normal seating capacity.

“The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, and many eateries are operating at tight margins,” Dinapoli said. “Now they are facing an unprecedented upheaval that could shut down many organizations forever.”

In the next half year, one-third to one-half of all bars and banquets in the city will likely return with 150,000 jobs with them, Dinapoli found.

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About three-thirds of the city’s restaurant industry found themselves at the height of the epidemic, the report said.

In 2011, the city’s rest restaurant industry had 717,000 jobs, paid $ 10.7 billion and made billion 1 billion in taxable sales, the report said.

By April, as the coronavirus provides home service to city and government orders, the industry’s employment has reached 1,000 jobs, according to the data.

The city’s initiative to expand and accelerate programs for outdoor dining – recently recognized as a permanent, year-round program – helped increase the number of jobs to 174,000 by August.

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Fort three percent of people in the city’s sands and bars received outdoor seating permits until the first week of September, the report said.

That includes more than half of Manhattan’s institutions, more than 40 percent in Brooklyn and Queens, 30 percent in the Bronx and 20 percent on Staten Island.

But the city’s rest restaurants are on the brink of a financial hole dug in the last six months, with an existing 25 percent indoor capacity limit – with colder temperatures on the horizon – and the possibility of a coronavirus resurgence in the game.

The report found that New York’s minority communities have become and will remain.

As of 2018, about 60 percent of restaurant workers living in the city were immigrants, with 44 percent Hispanic and 20 percent Asian, according to the report.

“It’s important that the state and the city continue to be creative and boost the industry,” Dianapoli said. “The city’s decision to increase year-round dining across the city to help keep restaurants afloat is a step in the right direction with the start of indoor dining.”

Shu Chowdhury, a restaurant operations operations specialist and managing partner of investment and business incubation company Bowry Engine, agreed that the move is a good start – but more needs to be done.

“25 per cent business is better than anything, but running a business profitably is not sustainable,” Chaudhary said. “Nonetheless, testing safety procedures to increase safety and safety capabilities is a great start because we are exposed to cold weather that will reduce people’s interest in outdoor meals.

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“Public safety is and should remain a priority, but in the near future restaurants should be able to reopen by at least 50 percent with extended hours to move toward safe and profitable operations.”

Dinapoli’s recommendations include providing clear, easy-to-understand guidance to restaurants on city reopening and working with the state to facilitate loans and grants to help illuminate the joints.

The federal government should step in with more funding after the August Gust of the Payneck Protection Program met in Dianapoli.

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