Business owners request Open Restaurant plan for retail

Sales have recovered elsewhere in the country but New York shops say they need help

Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (Getty)

Businesses are asking Mayor Bill de Blasio for small retailers to get sidewalk rights like restaurants have.

The New York City Business Improvement District Association, which is made up of commercial tenants and property owners, asked the mayor to sign an executive order allowing shops to use the sidewalks to sell goods, Gotham Gazette reported. The group asked that stores be permitted to post more signage as well.

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In the rest of the country, retail sales have recovered since the peak of the Covid shutdowns. Advanced monthly retail sales from June to August were actually up 2.4 percent from a year ago.

Business owners are also concerned that the commercial eviction moratorium, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo extended for another 30 days last week, does not relieve them of their obligation to pay rent. When the eviction moratorium does end, businesses unable to pay the back rent may fold for good.

“I think there is a real concern for a lot of small businesses that without some sort of plan, some sort of lifeline, that once that moratorium is lifted, that’s going to be a wrap for them,” Jennifer Tausig, co-chair of the BID Association and executive director of the Jerome Gun Hill BID in the Bronx, told the website. [Gotham Gazette] — Georgia Kromrei