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Restaurants, bars look for rent forgiveness

Four-out-of-five New York City restaurants didn’t pay their full rent last month, according t o a new survey released by the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

With outdoor dining still in its early stages and the prospects of indoor dining resuming at full occupancy still very far off, the owners and operators of 509 restaurants, bars and clubs say they are in a bad bind.

One third of survey respondents said they paid no rent at all.

“Rent is putting enormous financial pressure on restaurants, bars and clubs after four near fatal months of economic disaster during which many have already shuttered for good,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

ANDREW RIGIE

 “Our small businesses urgently need support on rent, so government officials, landlords and banks need to work together to find a solution. Whether it is direct rent subsidies, deferring rent now and extending payments on the back end of leases, and other creative ideas, we are in the midst of a rent crisis and need action now. We’re eager to work with lawmakers and industry leaders on any tangible plans that provide immediate relief to struggling restaurants and nightlife venues across the city before it’s too late.”

After the State announced a delay in reopening indoor dining in New York City, Rigie said it’s time for a rent forgiveness plan.

“We respect the government and public health officials’ decision to postpone the anticipated July 6th reopening of indoor dining, but the longer neighborhood restaurants and bars are forced to be closed, the harder it will be for them to ever successfully reopen. This makes it even more urgent to forgive rent, expand outdoor dining and enact other responsive policies to save our city’s beloved small businesses and jobs,” said Rigie.

According to NYCHA, while conceding landlords are facing “their own set of challenges” nearly three quarters (73 percent) did not waive rent payments for restaurants, bars and clubs in June.

Some 60 percent of landlords refused rent deferments during the same time period. Only 10 percent of restaurants, bars and clubs were able to renegotiate their leases.

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