New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last week that he will allow restaurants to continue curbside dining even after, if and when, the COVID War ends.
The so-called Open Restaurants program, which was introduced in June, was seen as a moderate success to keep many in the struggling industry to make some much-needed income.
Many restaurants in NYC have shuttered for good. The Times pointed out that nearly nine out of every ten restaurants failed to pay a full month’s rent in August. The paper, citing the City’s Hospitality Alliance, said about one-third paid no rent during the month.
The paper also reported that half of the city’s 300,000 restaurant workers have been laid off since the beginning of the outbreak.
“We will make the Open Restaurants initiative permanent and year-round,” de Blasio said, according to the New York Post. “I want us to really take this model and make it part of the life of New York City for years and generations to come. This has been, I think, an extraordinarily positive experiment.”
The paper reported bars and restaurants would be allowed to continue to operate outside on sidewalks – and, in some cases, alleyways – in the winter months. These restaurants could use heat lamps and tents, the report said. The program was a much-needed success story, and it is estimated to have saved 80,000 jobs.
KABC-TV reported the “Open Restaurants” program started during the City’s Phase 2 reopening. The report said the City is about to increase the number of indoor diners to 25 percent capacity by sometime next week.
Sachiko Koyama, manager of the restaurant Narita, told the news affiliate it has been a trying time for restaurants, and the new capacity limit will not help small restaurants.
According to booking site, foot traffic to U.S. restaurants and stores has shown moderate improvement, as estimates of seated diners at restaurants fell for the second week, remaining at some 60 percent of levels since early March.
TREND FORECAST: The recovery rate of small businesses that have been victims of the COVID lockdowns will worsen. Commercial real estate prices in large cities will continue to decline as will apartment rentals.

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