Nearly one-third of small businesses in New York and New Jersey remain closed since January amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a watchdog.
In the Empire State, 27.8 percent of small businesses have not reopened their doors, while Jersey has lost 31.2 percent as of Nov. 16, according to TrackTheRecovery.org, a Harvard-run database that keeps tabs on the economic impact of the virus.
The figures are in line with estimates from the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, which says 28 percent of the Garden State’s small businesses had shut up shop by the end of October, according to the Star Ledger newspaper.
And with the region now seeing a resurgence of the virus, business leaders are worried the number could go even higher.
“It’s really bad,” Eileen Kean, New Jersey state director of the National Federation of Independent Businesses told the Star-Ledger. “And without federal dollars coming into New Jersey, the Main Street stores and other establishments are not gonna make it through the winter.”
More than half of small businesses in both states were forced to shut their doors in the spring at the height of the pandemic, with both hitting highs in mid-April — 52.5 percent of New York businesses and 53.9 percent in the Garden States, the stats show.
“It’s devastating how many restaurants have shuttered and jobs have been lost,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of NYC Hospitality Alliances, which represents bars, restaurants, and clubs in the Big Apple.
“And with the infection rate rising and the looming threat of indoor dining closing again, many more will close unless the government provides adequate support to these small businesses,” Rigie said.
Meanwhile, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Sunday that a new lockdown is “on the table” again, which could spell more bad news for business owners.
And New Jersey isn’t the only state suffering — the national average is 29.8 percent, The Hill reported.