NEW YORK—Small businesses in New York City are facing serious financial trouble.
In light of this, a band of over 280 small businesses is calling on New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reopen the state and get New York businesses back to work. They claim they helped flatten the curve and now they are pleading to the governor to reopen because their businesses are hurting financially.
“It’s getting worse by the hour, not even by the day or by the week. Every hour, we’re afraid of what it’s going to be. We don’t know how to plan for our fall season. We don’t know how to plan. We don’t have as much assets or as much as the big box stores,” Galit Winer said.
Winer and her husband own a children’s clothing store called Kidichic. They have five locations in New York City and one in New Jersey.
The small business owners are asking the governor to open down-state New York so they can resume operations.
The state went into lockdown in mid-March to curb the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as the novel coronavirus. Governor Cuomo has opened seven regions in the state, but Long Island, mid-Hudson, and New York City remained closed.
In the areas that are still closed, large stores that sell food are open to the public because food is an essential product. Since their doors are open already, they can sell other products as well—even products that are not essential.
A coordinator for a small store, Amor Fine Jewelry, is outraged that big box stores that sell food are also able to sell non-essential items like flooring and clothing, but small businesses can’t.
“Are we being played? Are we fighting a pandemic? Or are we just being used as pawns to be played with by our politicians? Why is there a double standard?” Simcha Minkowitz asked.
The group’s legal counsel, Ronald Coleman, says they are proposing opening their stores while complying with federal guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and medical guidance from the city and state.
“They want to prevent their families from going on welfare. They want to prevent their businesses from being eliminated. And everyone has a right to make a living. Everyone has a fundamental human right to be able to make a living on his own behalf,” he said.
An employee at the children’s clothing store, Sarah Katz, says since they know their customers personally, they can make appointments with them. That way they can abide by social distancing rules while they operate.
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