Most NYC Restaurants Could Not Pay Full Rent in May, Survey Finds

More than 87% of New York City restaurants were unable to pay rent, or pay rent in full, in May because of the economic impact of the coronavirus, according to a new survey.

With many restaurants reporting more than half of their business lost to the shutdown, two-thirds of 483 survey restaurant owners say they’ll need at least 70% occupancy in order to try reopening for business, according to data released Thursday by the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

The numbers showed the grim reality for businesses and individuals who work in the industry that has lost billions of dollars since the start of the pandemic.

Even with loans from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, many restaurants still struggle. Forty percent of surveyed businesses that received funding say they’re unsure whether they’ll use the money because the program requires them to rehire staff to pre-pandemic levels by June 30. Around 50% say they still haven’t received their loans.



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