Coronavirus Forces 100K NY Small Businesses To Close Permanently

NEW YORK CITY – The coronavirus crisis has forced more than 100,000 small businesses in New York to close permanently, the governor said Friday. The huge swath of closures means main streets will look at lot different when the state is allowed to reopen.

At most risk have been businesses that are owned by minorities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

"Small businesses are taking a real beating," he said. "They are 90 percent of New York's businesses and they're facing the toughest challengers.

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"The economic projections, vis-a-vis small business, are actually frightening. More than 100,000 have shut permanently since the pandemic hit. Many small businesses just don't have the staying power to continue to pay all the fixed costs, the lease, etcetera, when they have no income whatsoever."

All but essential businesses have now been closed since New York's shutdown started on March 22. Millions of former employees are now registered as unemployed.

Cuomo said New York State was launching its own small business relief program, with more than $100 million that it will make available as loans.

"We're going to focus on true small businesses," he said. "Twenty or fewer employees, less than $3 million in gross revenues."

This article originally appeared on the New York City Patch