Over a quarter of small businesses in New York and New Jersey, areas hit hardest by the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, have not reopened this year, according to a report from a Harvard-run database.
The database, TrackTheRecovery.org, revealed that 27.8 percent of small businesses in New York have not reopened following the mass shutdowns that occurred in the state this year, as of November 16. Even more businesses remained closed in New Jersey — 31.2 percent.
The New York Post reported:
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.
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.
The news comes as virus rates begin to spike, prompting Govs. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Phil Murphy (D) to reintroduce restrictions in their respective states.
Murphy, who was recently confronted after dining out with his maskless family after retightening restrictions in the Garden State, told Fox News Sunday that a statewide lockdown remains “on the table.”
“It has to stay on the table. Gov. Hutchinson, I think, had a similar answer to that. You hate like heck to even have to consider that, and God willing, we won’t have to,” he said, calling for a “big federal stimulus,” which he believes will act as a “lifeline” for small businesses.
“That would be a game-changer. Not just in their lives and in their prospects, but it gives us more degrees of freedom in terms of dealing with the virus. So it’s on the table in terms of a shutdown,” he continued.
“I don’t anticipate it, and I sure as heck don’t want to go that route but boy, federal stimulus would give us a lot more ammunition to do a lot more things right now,” Murphy added.
State and local governments across the country are also taking action as virus rates increase, preemptively closing businesses deemed nonessential and limiting capacity limitations at essential retailers, forming what has been dubbed “modern breadlines” in states such as New Mexico ahead of its recent two-week lockdown.