News & Opinion | September 4, 2020 3:25 pm

Nearly Two-Thirds of New York Restaurants Could Close by the End of the Year

Without financial assistance, many New York restaurants expect to close by 2021

empty outdoor dining table in new york
New York restaurants are in trouble.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has been devastating for the restaurant industry, and the outlook for the rest of the year is starting to look pretty dire, particularly in New York. Without additional financial support, more than half of the Empire State’s restaurants expect to close by the end of the year.

Recent findings from the New York State Restaurant Association confirm that many restaurants are struggling to remain open. According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 restaurateurs across the state, nearly 64 percent of restaurants are likely or somewhat likely to shut down by the end of the year without additional financial support, while 55 percent of those expecting to close think it will happen before November.

“It is painfully clear that without financial assistance, the restaurant industry in New York State could collapse,” the association’s president, Melissa Fleischut, said. “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.”

Only about 36 percent of restaurants surveyed reported that they expect to remain open by the end of the year.

“Governor Cuomo’s leadership during these difficult times on issues such as alcohol-to-go and outdoor dining has provided a lifeline for our members in the past few months. But it’s not enough,” said Fleischut. “We are now asking the Governor, the state Legislature and those at the federal level to simply help us survive. Without further assistance, the restaurant industry as we know it could be gone in a New York minute.”

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