Gov. Cuomo Bans NYC Indoor Dining – Offers No Reopening Timeline
Say a prayer for New York City’s restaurants, because many have just been sentenced to death.
Just weeks after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo published a book praising his own leadership in fighting the coronavirus, cases are once again exploding in his state. At the time of publication, and today, it’s the case that if New York were it’s own country, it would have more coronavirus deaths per-capita than any other on the planet. How’s that for leadership?
While small businesses have been working tirelessly for months to make their stores and restaurants as safe as possible for people to frequent, government has been asleep at the wheel when it comes to expanding health care capacity by building more temporary hospitals, or offering more accurate and efficient testing. And now they want small business to further pay for government incompetence.
As Eater New York reports:
Following a month-long rise in COVID-19 cases in New York City, Gov. Andrew Cuomo moved to shut down indoor dining indefinitely starting on Monday, dealing a major blow to the NYC hospitality industry as it goes into the winter months. Cuomo indicated the shutdown was coming last week due to a rise in hospitalizations, and on Friday, he confirmed that hospitalizations had continued to climb this past week prompting the shutdown.
Last month, Cuomo had limited restaurants citywide to to takeout and delivery after 10 p.m. Restaurants can still continue outdoor dining, takeout, and delivery.
Cuomo offered no details as to when restaurants could expect to reopen, making it impossible for them to plan for their survival. Cuomo also urged the federal government to give him aid to clean up his mess.
Seemingly contradicting the logic behind banning indoor dining, Cuomo also said that salons and gyms weren’t a problem anymore and they’d be able to operate with restrictions. Why identical restrictions wouldn’t work for indoor dining remains a mystery.
In other words, closing indoor dining makes about as much sense as packing nursing homes with coronavirus patients.
Even before this, the leadership of Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio (i.e. Dumb and Dumber) had wrecked havoc on New York State and city.
Back in July the New York Post declared in an article documenting the impossible landscape that retailers and restaurants are forced to face in NYC, that the city is now the nation’s “worst place to do business.”
And they weren’t being hyperbolic.
As we previously reported: the nonprofit Partnership for New York City, which consists of a select group of nearly three hundred CEOs from NYC’s top firms, released a depressing “post pandemic” report estimating the permanent damage the lockdowns will have for businesses. The report, aided by twelve global consulting firms, found that a third of the city’s 230,000 small businesses may never reopen.
The report found that before the pandemic, most businesses had less than three months’ worth of cash reserves, which was roughly how long the lockdowns had been going on at the time of the release of the report (July 2020). “That means that funds to restart, pay back rent and buy inventory are exhausted, leaving tens of thousands of entrepreneurs at risk, particularly business owners of color,” according to the report.
It would later be learned in August that 83 percent of NYC’s restaurants were unable to pay their July rent. Some made partial payments, but 37 percent paid no rent at all.
Among the other bleak findings from the Partnership for New York City report were that:
- By June, NYC “experienced more infection, death and economic destruction than anywhere in the world.”
- Up to eighty thousand of the city’s small businesses may never reopen.
- The unemployment rate was 18.3 percent and one million are struggling.
- Only 40 percent of Manhattan office workers will return by year’s end and 25 percent may never come back. This is likely to have ripple effects, damaging those who own office space.
- The city’s economy is projected to shrink 7 percent, which will further reduce the tax base. Outward migration will compound this problem.
Even by the end of August, when the rest of the state had already brought indoor dining back at half capacity for two and a half months, de Blasio didn’t have a care in the world for the city’s restaurants. “Indoor dining, that’s not a plan right now,” he told radio host Brian Lehrer. “There’s not a context for indoor dining. We’re never saying it’s impossible. But we do not, based on what we’re seeing around the world, we do not have a plan for reopening indoor dining in the near term.”
Days later de Blasio was asked an obvious question: Why would indoor dining be banned when schools would be allowing children to eat inside at lunch tables when the school year begins? “I don’t think there’s a similarity at all,” de Blasio replied. Not long after in September he’d release a plan to re-open indoor dining (at 25% capacity), proving once again how completely arbitrary it was that it was banned entirely in the first place.
And now it’s gone again.