A strong focus on eliminating the coronavirus over maintaining a healthy economy has led to nearly one-third of small businesses in New York and New Jersey shutting remaining closed since January.
The New York Post reported that Harvard-run database TrackTheRecovery.org showed 27.8% of small businesses in New York haven’t reopened their doors since January. In New Jersey, 31.2% remain closed.
The national average, according to the database, is 29.8%.
“The figures are in line with estimates from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, which says 28 percent of the Garden State’s small businesses had shut up shop by the end of October, according to the Star Ledger newspaper,” the outlet reported. “And with the region now seeing a resurgence of the virus, business leaders are worried the number could go even higher.”
Eileen Kean, New Jersey state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses, told the Star Ledger that the situation was “really bad.”
“And without federal dollars coming into New Jersey, the Main Street stores and other establishments are not gonna make it through the winter,” she added.
More from the Post:
More than half of small businesses in both states were forced to shut their doors in the spring at the height of the pandemic, with both hitting highs in mid-April — 52.5 percent of New York businesses and 53.9 percent in the Garden States, the stats show.
“It’s devastating how many restaurants have shuttered and jobs have been lost,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of NYC Hospitality Alliances, which represents bars, restaurants, and clubs in the Big Apple.
“And with the infection rate rising and the looming threat of indoor dining closing again, many more will close unless the government provides adequate support to these small businesses,” Rigie said.
Gov. Phil Murphy (D-NJ) said during an interview on “CBS This Morning” that he understood “the overwhelming amount of stress” people must be feeling.
“The stress levels are exceptionally high. You’ve lost a job, you’ve lost a business, you’ve lost a loved one. I can’t blame folks for being stressful,” Murphy said.
The Hill reported New Jersey is seeing a new surge in coronavirus cases.
“Over 329,000 cases and nearly 17,000 deaths have been reported. On Nov. 21, New Jersey recorded 4,669 cases, the most it has ever reported in a single day,” the outlet reported.
The surge in cases has led many governors and local leaders to insist on new lockdowns, even as they violate their own orders. The latest example comes from Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, who voted to ban outdoor dining in the county without presenting any evidence that such dining resulted in any outbreaks of the virus. Within hours of her vote, Kuehl was seen dining outdoors at a restaurant in Santa Monica, The Daily Wire reported.
A statement from her office tried to downplay her decision to eat at the restaurant:
She did dine al fresco at Il Forno on the very last day it was permissible. She loves Il Forno, has been saddened to see it, like so many restaurants, suffer from a decline in revenue. She ate there, taking appropriate precautions, and sadly will not dine there again until our Public Health Orders permit.