9 out of 10 NYC restaurants could not afford rent in December study finds

A new report from the NYC Hospitality Alliance shows the extreme financial problems restaurants in New York City are facing, as 92% of the city's restaurants could not afford to pay their rent in December.

The number has steadily worsened throughout the pandemic, from 80% of restaurants in June 2020 not being able to pay rent.

The NYC Hospitality Alliance's survey showed that only 40% of restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments saw their landlords reduce their rent due to COVID-19, only 36% of landlords deferred rent in relation to COVID-19, and only 14% of businesses have been able to successfully renegotiate leases.

New York City recently returned to indoor dining at 25% capacity, but business owners and industry leaders insist that a path to reopening at 50% occupancy is necessary for restaurants to stay afloat.

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"We’re nearly a year into the public health and economic crisis that has decimated New York City’s restaurants, bars, and nightlife venues," said Andrew Rigie, executive director of the NYC Hospitality Alliance. "While the reopening of highly regulated indoor dining is welcome news, we need to safely increase occupancy to 50% as soon as possible, and we urgently need robust and comprehensive financial relief from the federal government. We will continue to work with Senator and Majority Leader Schumer to ensure that the $25 billion restaurant industry recovery fund is passed as part of the Biden administration’s emergency relief plan, and advocate for the enactment of the RESTAURANTS Act to save as many local eating and drinking spots and jobs as possible."