The majority of Brooklyn’s small businesses will struggle to survive this fall because of coronavirus-related losses, according to a new survey by a local industry group.
“The small businesses that make up our neighborhoods and sustain our communities are facing unprecedented economic challenges, requiring immediate support, grants and urgent rent relief if they are going to survive,” said Randy Peers, president of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber surveyed 234 mom-and-pop shops in the borough. Half reported revenue losses of 50 percent or more over the summer. Nearly 30 percent couldn’t pay rent in August, about 40 percent owe back rent, and 53 percent said “they would struggle to stay open during the next three months.”
Over 80 percent said cash grants would be crucial to stave off permanent closure. Another 70 percent advocated for rent relief and 50 percent pushed for low-interest loans to stay afloat.
The city $49 million program to help 200,000 small businesses during the COVID-19 crisis dried up months ago. Officials in Washington, DC are still fighting over the details of a potential second stimulus.