Breaking News

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

As many as half of all New York City bars and restaurants could shutter permanently within the next six months due to the coronavirus, according to a stunning new audit released Thursday by state C…

Metro

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

Sign up for our special edition newsletter to get a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic.

As many as half of all New York City bars and restaurants could shutter permanently within the next six months due to the coronavirus, according to a stunning new audit released Thursday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The report lays bare the extent of the pandemic’s fiscal impact on one of the city’s lifeblood industries, which only saw a return to indoor dining on Wednesday — at a meager 25 percent of normal seating capacity.

“The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, and many eateries operate on tight margins,” said DiNapoli. “Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever.”

In the next half-year, a third to half of all city bars and eateries could fall past the point of no return, potentially taking over 150,000 jobs with them, DiNapoli found.

Nearly three-quarters of those employed in the city’s restaurant industry already found themselves jobless at the height of the pandemic, according to the report.

In 2019, the city’s restaurant industry accounted for 317,800 jobs, paid out $10.7 billion in wages and made more than $27 billion in taxable sales, the report said.

By April, as the coronavirus gripped the city and government mandates nixed indoor service, the industry’s employment tanked to 91,000 jobs, according to the audit.

A city initiative to expand and expedite applications for outdoor dining — recently approved as a permanent, year-round program — helped boost employment numbers to 174,000 by August, DiNapoli found.

Forty-three percent of restaurants and bars citywide had received outdoor seating permits as of the first week of September, the report said.

That included half of Manhattan establishments, 40-plus percent in Brooklyn and Queens, 30…

Bernadette Hogan, Julia Marsh, Aaron Feis

Read full article



Source link