More than 60% of New York restaurants surveyed by the New York State Restaurant Association said they are likely or somewhat likely to close by the end of the year without some form of financial relief as the coronavirus pandemic continues to take its toll on businesses across the U.S.
In a previous survey, restaurant owners listed commercial rent relief, an increase in indoor dining seating capacity and allowing indoor seating in New York City as some of the ways state government could help the industry. They also insisted that business interruption insurance claims be paid – a group of New York restaurants last month sued their insurers in state court, arguing they are entitled to business interruption insurance coverage for losses and expenses associated with the pandemic.
"It is painfully clear that without financial assistance, the restaurant industry in New York State could collapse," said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of NYSRA. "These recent survey results illustrate just how dire the financial situation has become for most restaurants, and it shows how critical it is that elected officials understand the urgency of the situation."
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday suggested indoor dining could return to the city with more NYPD enforcement of social distancing guidelines.
"I agree with the speaker, I'd like to see [restaurants] open," Cuomo said, "but our rules and guidance on reopening is only as good as the compliance and the enforcement." He also said he has "beseeched NYC to do a better job on compliance" and that there were no more state resources to devote to this issue.
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