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NEW YORK, NY — Almost every New York City restaurant owner — 92 percent of them, to be precise — couldn’t afford to pay December’s rent, according to a new study.
The study, released Tuesday, is part of a rolling series of surveys conducted by the NYC Hospitality Alliance since the coronavirus crisis began. The pandemic quickly put a damper on restaurants’ business — in June, 80 percent of eateries couldn’t afford rent, according to the studies.
The number of struggling restaurants has only increased with each month and see-sawing restrictions, such as the only-recent return of indoor dining at 25 percent capacity.
“We’re nearly a year into the public health and economic crisis that has decimated New York City’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues,” Andrew Rigie, the alliance’s executive director, said in a statement. “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.”
About 46 percent of restaurants were able to pay some, but not all, rent in December, according to the survey.
A full 45 percent couldn’t pay a dime, the survey shows.
Just over a third of landlords — 36.5 percent — deferred rent for restaurants because of COVID-19, according to the survey.