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80 Percent of Restaurants & Bars Were Unable to Pay Their Full Rent in July: Survey

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Aug. 3, 2020 By Christian Murray

Four in five bars and restaurants in New York City were unable to pay their full rent in July, according to a new study.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance released results from a survey today that found that only 17 percent of establishments were able to pay their full rent for July. The survey was based on the responses from 471 NYC restaurants, bars, nightclubs and event venues between July 15 and 28.

The survey revealed that 37.4 percent didn’t pay any rent in July. Meanwhile, 36.6 percent said they paid some, with the remainder uncertain whether they would be able to pay.

The results are not pretty, restaurant advocates say, and come despite the mayor’s attempts to help businesses survive–given the ban on indoor dining and various social distancing restrictions that are in place.

The mayor has expanded outdoor dining and provided businesses with the ability to sell to-go drinks.

De Blasio praised his outdoor dining program on Monday and said it has helped keep many businesses afloat, bringing nearly 80,000 workers back to their jobs.

But the NYC Hospitality Alliance said that the mayor’s programs were not enough to offset the revenue lost by the restriction on indoor dining and various other requirements.

Furthermore, federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program may have helped many businesses but much of that money has now been spent.

“Restaurants and nightlife venues are essential to the economic and social fabric of our city, but they are struggling to survive,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

The survey revealed that about 10 percent were able to negotiate their lease, while about 28 percent were in “good faith negotiations.” Approximately 62 percent of respondents said they had not renegotiated it.

There are signs that some landlords are working with some businesses.

The survey found that nearly 30 percent of landlords had waived some rent due to the pandemic. Of those landlords, 74 percent had waived half the rent or more.

The rent has forced many businesses to close—unable to keep up with high fixed costs. Currently there is a moratorium on evictions for commercial tenants, which is set to expire Aug. 5.

For a copy of the survey, click here.

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