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NYS Restaurant Association: Nearly two-thirds of restaurants could close without government support

Recent survey among members show 63. 6% are likely shut down by the end of the year without dedicated government funding.

ALBANY, N.Y. — A recent survey among members of the New York State Restaurant Association paints a bleak picture of the industry's future as the uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic drags on.

Nearly two-thirds of them, 63.6%, say they may not last the year without a comprehensive relief package carved out especially for them. A total of 1,042 restaurateurs responded to the survey taken during the last week of August.

“It is painfully clear that without financial assistance, the restaurant industry in New York State could collapse,” said Melissa Fleischut, President & CEO of NYSRA. “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.”

An earlier survey found  89.7% of New York's restaurant owners said it would be somewhat or very unlikely that their establishments would turn a profit in the next six months. 

When NYSRA members were asked what they'd like to see in a government relief package, their top three answers were: 

  • Provide commercial rent relief
  • Insist that business interruption insurance claims are paid
  • Increase the capacity for indoor dining, and allow for indoor dining in New York City

Restaurant owners say they are important members of the community and keep people employed, but without help, the future remains uncertain.

Here are the key findings of the latest survey:

  • 63.6% of restaurants said they are likely or somewhat likely to close by the end of the year without some form of financial relief; just 36.4% said they are likely or somewhat likely to remain open.
  • Of those who are likely to close, 54.8% will be forced to shut their doors before November.

“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. 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,” added Fleischut.