Nearly 3,000 small businesses in NYC closed due to Covid

Closures over the last 4 months include retailers that made it through multiple recessions, natural disasters

Coogan’s Irish pub in Washington Heights, John Jovino Gun Shop in Little Italy, and Gem Spa in East Village (Getty)
Coogan’s Irish pub in Washington Heights, John Jovino Gun Shop in Little Italy, and Gem Spa in East Village (Getty)

Mom-and-pop shops selling egg creams, vinyl records — and even firearms — lend New York City some of its irreplaceable history and charm.

But now, small, multi-generational businesses that withstood natural disasters and multiple economic downturns have fallen victim to the novel coronavirus. Nearly 3,000 small businesses have permanently closed in the last four months, according to the New York Times. Covid shutdowns sapped revenue, tourism and cash cushions, making rent an overwhelming burden.

Among some of the more famous small businesses to have shuttered are John Jovino Gun Shop in Little Italy, Coogan’s Irish pub in Washington Heights, Record Mart in the Times Square subway station and Gem Spa in East Village, according to the Times.

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While financial support from the federal Paycheck Protection Program helped more than 275,000 businesses across the state, according to the Times, city comptroller Scott Stringer said about half the city’s businesses were left out of the program.

Aid offered directly by the city in the early days of the pandemic seems like a lifetime ago, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo insists closing bars and restaurants again remains an option.

Still, shopkeepers must contend with New York City’s pricey rents. Empire Coffee & Tea, which opened when Theodore Roosevelt was president, paid $9,000 less per month in rent in New Jersey this year than at its Hell’s Kitchen location, which it closed in April. [NYT] — Orion Jones