Mayor Bill de Blasio has emphasized that city businesses should be shut down because of the coronavirus outbreak and will be shut down for months to come – despite a new report finding that the Big Apple’s private sector has lost one in four jobs.
“I have spoken to many and many business leaders, especially small businesses. They are very concerned about their futures, but they are also hanging on and they know it will be months until they can take action again, ”de Blasio told WNYC Friday.
Cassius, a broker from Brooklyn, urged the city’s COVID-19 response to “take a more surgical approach” by finding a way to protect the elderly and health care workers while allowing businesses to reopen.
“We are in a stream that basically destroys the entire city,” Cassius said.
“I can’t disagree more with that core analysis,” De Blasio responded.
“Running back has proven to have a boomerang effect and make things worse and cause bigger shutdowns, because it’s not just about a small number of people who are particularly vulnerable,” said de Blasio.
An independent nonprofit Empire Center ruled out Caller’s “doomsday” concerns, though a new analysis of state Labor Department data found the city lost 24.5% of private-sector jobs during the crisis.
City Councilman Mark Jonaz has blasted the mayor’s comments.
“It’s the worst of all things that come out of his mouth. He lives on de Blasio’s land. That’s far from the truth,” said the Bronx Democrat, who chairs the council’s small business committee.
“He is not in touch with reality and all he has to do is walk the commercial corridor to understand what is happening to our small businesses,” Jonaz said.
“He is setting up the city for failure. He is about to leave City Hall in the worst conditions the city has experienced since World War II and the Great Depression,” he said.
“It also explains why he only allocated $ 49 million in loans and grants, which is part of what these small businesses actually need,” Gjonaj said of De Blasio’s limited relief program for the city’s mom and pop shops.
The National Restaurant Association estimates that 11 percent of New York’s 25,000 restaurants will be closed permanently by the end of May. According to Eater.com. Iconic Big Apple eateries such as Coogan’s Irish Pub in Washington Heights and the Egg Cream Spot Gem Spa in the East Village have already closed the doors for good.
The Empire Center’s E.J. McMahon said the city has had unparalleled economic success.
“For leisure and hospitality, including restaurants and hotels, the slump is equivalent to a virtual apocalypse – 68 percent of job losses,” he says.
“There is a lot of concern that these jobs are going to be lost,” said McMahon, noting that business models, especially those representing the restaurant and retail sectors, are volume-based. “Slowly reopening does not help the restaurant sector,” he said.