Year from Hell: 80% of Brooklyn businesses saw revenue drop

One in three still owe back rent, slight increase from months earlier

New York /
Feb.February 24, 2021 06:00 PM
(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

(iStock/Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)

Brooklyn businesses, like many others across the city, had a rough year.

Eighty percent of all businesses saw revenue decline in 2020 from the year before, and 47% of those lost more than half of their revenue, according to a survey by the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce CEO Randy Peers (LinkedIn)

“The end-of-year survey results confirm what we had been tracking all along in 2020,” Randy Peers, president and CEO of the chamber, said in a statement. “Small business revenue is in a free-fall.”

For many businesses, rent remains an issue. Thirty-three percent of all businesses surveyed owe some back rent, and 49 percent did not receive any rent concessions.

Still, the survey showed a slight improvement from months earlier. In August, 50 percent of businesses said they were doing at least 50 percent less business than the same period in the prior year, and 39 percent said they owed rent.

The pandemic eroded the balance sheets of many businesses. Fifty-one percent said that they have taken on debt as a result of Covid-19.

Even so, some businesses had a better 2020 than 2019. Thirteen percent of businesses, primarily in health care, construction and consulting, saw a year-over-year increase in revenue.





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