Hard-hit restaurant, retail and arts industries work to rebuild

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NEW YORK — New York City restaurants, retail stores and the arts were hit hardest by pandemic.

A new report from New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli highlights the impact of the pandemic on the city, studying economic factors and reviewed the distribution of federal aid.

The report counts 169,700 jobs lost in the city as compared to 2019. Some have returned, but there are 30% fewer restaurant industry workers. The arts, entertainment and recreation sector is 24% smaller and retail trade has 14% fewer jobs.

“While communities across the nation felt the impacts of the pandemic on their restaurant, retail and recreation sectors, New York City was hit especially hard,” DiNapoli said.

He called on Gov. Kathy Hochul and Mayor Eric Adams to work together and focus on those specific industries  

The state has already increased tourism dollars and funding for some small business loans and grants.

New York City businesses received at least $45 billion dollars in federal funding from various programs approved in Washington.

“Only 35% of restaurants that applied got funding. Sixty-five percent did not … that’s a massive amount of restaurants,” Deputy NY State Comptroller Rahul Jain said.

Detailed information reviewed by the comptroller’s office shows restaurants lower income areas received a “proportionately smaller share of loans” when compared to the percentage of all city restaurants.

That includes the Bronx, where a small business network is working with city and state leaders.

The Third Avenue Business Improvement Executive Director is Michael Brady.

“For so long, we went through cycles of fits and starts,” he said. “We are seeing a lot of public and private investment in the area.”

Brady said the mayor’s plan to review business regulations and fines is a great step, as well.  

The city’s overall economic recovery continues to lag behind the rest of the country. The city lost a higher share of jobs when compared to five of the other most populous counties in country.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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