25,000 NYC bars and restaurants will be unable to open indoor dining and drinking indefinitely, and Broadway shows will be shuttered until January at the earliest. In the first three weeks of the lockdown, New York state restaurants lost nearly $2 billion in revenue alone.
Our hospitality and nightlife industries have been hit hard. We need to help these small business owners cultivate new revenue streams and expand their footprint, in part by creating permanent outdoor space and investing in new and innovative ideas to return them to profitability long-term.
61% of bank executives said they don’t expect to call all employees back to the office. And more than 40% said they were planning on reducing their office leases, according to an Accenture survey.
Our schools, hospitals, and first responders all depend on tax revenues from businesses and individuals to keep our city moving. Today, a relatively small share of taxpayers support a high percentage of those revenues. We must retain those taxpayers, while at the same time, expanding our state and city’s tax base so that we’re less dependent on a select – increasingly mobile – few. Making better use of even a fraction of the estimated $1.4 trillion in street-space we currently allocate for cars in Manhattan could generate billions of dollars in new tax revenue by allowing more restaurants, bars, retailers, and other businesses to make outdoor commerce a part of their daily or seasonal operations.
Women and minority owned businesses (MWBEs) are suffering the most. In a NYC July survey of more than 500 city-certified MWBEs, 85% said they will have to shutter their company within six months. 30% stated they think they’ll have to close within a month.
FutureNY believes that central to New York’s recovery are strong, vibrant small businesses, especially MWBEs. That’s why as part of the campaign, FutureNY will push for lawmakers to create a $25-$50 million fund to extend emergency grants to small businesses, with a focus on MWBEs across New York. If adopted by lawmakers, the public and private sector could work together to extend unprecedented relief to the businesses and communities that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.
Traffic in NYC will be worse than ever before, which will cost the region billions in economic output. In a 2018 report, traffic was shown to cost the regional economy $20 billion.
Without reimagining our streetscapes in business districts across NYC, more commuters will use our central business districts as little more than an occasional workplace. The rapid adoption of permanent work from home policies at thousands of offices will only accelerate this trend. We can draw these commuters in for longer stays–and convert more of them into permanent residents–if we make economically viable and environmentally sustainable investments that make it easier for them and their families to explore and live in our city’s magnificent cityscape.
The citywide commercial vacancy rate jumped by 45% between 2007 and 2017, according to a NYC report. The Covid-19 recession is accelerating this trend.
Occupied storefronts build stronger, more vibrant communities. But even before the public health crisis, vacant storefronts littered our streetscapes. That’s because when a tenant leaves, property owners often choose to leave the property vacant rather than lower the rent to market rate. By creating new incentives for attracting tenants to vacant storefronts and commercial space, we can help creative and essential businesses return to commercial areas and rebuild the type of unique communities that make NYC the most exhilarating place in the world to live.
Per a NY1 report, “The city remains the main economic driver of the state. The rich people who live in New York City balance out the state budget by contributing a large portion of its revenue through the personal income tax. That keeps upstate taxes from being increased even further. The stock market also provides a source of wealth for the state, from how transfers are taxed to bonuses.”
Whether it’s the LIRR that brings people to their jobs, or the farms of Hudson Valley that supply our local food chain, our economy is linked from upstate to downstate. By sustaining our tax base and focusing on forward-thinking transit and environmental solutions we will contribute to a healthy statewide ecosystem.