Brooklyn Bridge by ugod is marked with CC BY 2.0
Mar 18, 2022
More than half of Brooklyn businesses are still struggling two years into Covid
Only 41 percent of local businesses reported an increase in year-over-year revenues from 2020 in a new Brooklyn Chamber survey
Roughly 50 percent of businesses in Brooklyn are financially struggling more than two years after the coronavirus first triggered a shutdown of non-essential businesses here.
That’s according to a newly released survey from the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which polled its 185 members, including restaurants, shops, gyms and other services. In a press release, the results “provided key insights into the difficulties that kept
them from moving forward in 2021.”
More than 70 percent of businesses are continuing to experience sales lower than 2019 levels, 41 percent employed fewer people compared to before the pandemic and only 41 percent of businesses reported an increase in year-over-year revenues from 2020 to 2021.
Brooklyn isn’t also immune to the labor issues that have affected most of the country. Staffing remains a “major sticking point,” with 25 percent unable to operate or forced to close for periods of time due to labor shortages. More than 40 percent said they had hard times filling positions. Still, most reported that the vaccine mandate “did not affect business significantly because employees were compliant.”
Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce is pushing for the state to provide additional grants and rent relief to help the borough’s businesses bounce back.
“Optimism won’t pay the bills or ensure there is a path to continued growth for so many small businesses that at a point over the last two years probably were not sure whether they would survive another week or month,” said Randy Peers, president and CEO of the chamber, in a press release.
“While we can see a time where Covid is not directly harming significant numbers of our neighbors, we need to double down on ensuring our small business have the guidance, resources and tools to build back our main streets and communities,” he added.
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