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Most NYC restaurants behind in rent, survey finds

A survey released today by the NYC Hospitality Alliance details the latest data on the state of New York City’s devastated hospitality industry.

The survey of nearly 500 owners and operators of restaurants, bars and nightlife establishments across the city found that a growing number of businesses could not pay rent in July. 83 percent of businesses could not pay full rent in July and 37 percent of businesses reported paying no rent at all.

Adding to the challenges that restaurants, bars and nightlife venues face are inflexible landlords, some of whom have their own set of difficulties. 71 percent of landlords would not waive portions of rent due to COVID-19, 61 percent would not defer rent payments and 90 percent of landlords would not formally renegotiate leases.

With indoor dining service still on pause and outdoor dining service not generating sufficient revenue to cover rent and other expenses, small business owners in the industry continue to express significant concerns about surviving the pandemic and staying viable in the future.


“Restaurants and nightlife venues are essential to the economic and social fabric of our city, but they are struggling to survive and absent immediate and sweeping relief so many will be forced to close permanently,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

“While complying with the necessary pause, our industry has been uniquely and financially devasted. Small businesses urgently need solutions from government leaders at the city, state, and federal level, inclusive of extending the moratorium on evictions, extending the suspension of personal liability guarantees in leases, pausing commercial rent taxes, providing landlords with needed support, and infusing small businesses with enough cash to weather the storm.”

For full survey results, a link to the results are available here.

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