Up to half of bars and restaurants in New York City may be forced to close permanently within six months after having been devastated by the coronavirus lockdowns.
An audit released Thursday by state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli revealed that a third to half of the establishments that comprise one of the city’s key industries could shutter and never return, costing the city more than 150,000 jobs, according to the New York Post.
“The industry is challenging under the best of circumstances, and many eateries operate on tight margins,” said DiNapoli. “Now they face an unprecedented upheaval that may cause many establishments to close forever.”
Even with the reopening of indoor dining Wednesday, capacity remains capped at 25% occupancy with other strict measures regarding social distancing and temperature taking.
New York City has been roiled with debates over indoor dining in recent months, with the onerous lockdown restrictions drawing condemnation even from some lawmakers who claimed they were being inconsistently applied. As The Daily Wire reported:
Democratic state Sen. Diane Savino told the New York Post [in August], “It’s a real problem when you represent a border community. People say to me: ‘I don’t understand why I can’t eat indoors in this restaurant. Read more…