According to a new survey by the New York City Hospitality Alliance, 92% of more than 400 responses couldn't afford to pay their rent in December. This number has increased since the start of the pandemic last March. June - 80% could not afford rent, July - 83%, August - 87% and October 88%.
Since March thousands of bars and restaurants have closed their doors for good. The industry lost more than 140,000 jobs in 2020. According to a new survey 400 respondents from NYC's restaurants, bars and clubs, only 40% of their landlords reduced rent because of COVID-19; 36% of landlords deferred rent because of COVID-19 and only 14% of businesses have successfully renegotiated leases.
These establishments may not be able to afford rent for December 2020 due to the fact that they were restricted from indoor dining during one of the coldest months of the year. Although there is now a return to a 25% occupancy of indoor dining in the city, restaurant owners say they need at least 50% occupancy to continue to keep their business alive.
"We're nearly a year into the public health and economic crisis that has decimated New York City's restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. "While the reopening of highly regulated indoor dining is welcome news, we need to safely increase occupancy to 50% as soon as possible, and we urgently need robust and comprehensive financial relief from the federal government. We will continue to work with Senator and Majority Leader Schumer to ensure that the $25 billion restaurant industry recovery fund is passed as part of the Biden administration's emergency relief plan, and advocate for the enactment of the Restaurants Act to save as many local eating and drinking spots and jobs as possible."