The owner of New York City’s Strand Book Store pleaded with customers Friday to help save the business, saying its revenue dropped by 70 percent because of the pandemic.
“Nancy Bass Wyden, wife of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said loans and cash revenue allowed the bookstore to weather the last eight months but ‘we are now at a turning point where our business is unsustainable,’” according to Fox News.
The report continued:
While many were quick to offer support – including celebrities like Patton Oswalt and Jim Gaffigan – some critics pointed out that Wyden, a millionaire, bought between $60,000 and $200,000 in Amazon stock last June, according to Barron’s. Amazon has been blamed for helping put local bookstores out of business.
However, social media users also pointed out that “Wyden herself was a millionaire and that the company had taken a Payroll Protection Program loan of $1-$2 million from the federal government during the pandemic,” according to meaww.com:
A financial disclosure report from 2015 showed that Senator Wyden and his wife earned at least $2.5 million last year, and that did not include Wyden’s Senate salary of $174,000. The lion’s share of the income went to Nancy Bass Wyden. She is also the one who owned most of the assets listed in the report, which are worth at least $8.5 million.
The disclosure report covering 2011 said she had assets worth between $12 million and $56 million from the Strand-related businesses. Nancy Wyden reported earning more than $1 million in 2014 from the bookstore operations and more than $1 million from a related real estate arm.
Following her plea, an increase in traffic caused the website to shut down temporarily, according to Fox News.
Wyden shared a video on Twitter Saturday of people lined up outside the store, waiting to go inside:
— Nancy Bass Wyden (@nancybasswyden) October 24, 2020