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State’s Plan to Rebuild NYC Economy May Focus on Tourism, Restaurants

Plus, a new website highlights neighborhood restaurants that remain open for delivery and takeout — and more intel

A photo of the Hope sign in red in the financial district. The streets are empty and the base of a building can be seen
Governor Andrew Cuomo is looking at ways to rebuild the city’s economy once the virus passes
Gary He/Eater

Plans to restart NYC’s economy after pandemic includes restaurants

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has asked many of his former aides to come up a “NYS Forward” plan to bolster the city’s currently beleaguered economy after the COVID-19 crisis passes, the Wall Street Journal reports. The aides are talking with various industry experts to see if it makes sense to reopen certain industries like the hospitality industry sooner than others.

Some experts say that a focus on reviving the tourism industry will be key much like it was after the September 11 terrorist attacks. Experts are hopeful that small businesses like restaurants will apply to the federal loans that have been made available due to the ongoing crisis, though restaurateurs are holding out for a stimulus package that’s focused on the industry — one of the hardest hit from the COVID-19 epidemic.

But many restaurateurs have said that this crisis is completely different from 9/11, and the same tactics may not apply. People may still be nervous about being in close proximity with others in restaurants and bars, or about riding the subway to get to different parts of the city. Tourism may not quickly prop up the economy as some would hope.

The state’s mandatory shutdown on dining in at restaurants and bars went into effect on March 16. Since then, some restaurants have shut permanently, others have closed for the foreseeable future, and many are trying to stay afloat through the takeout and delivery-only model. Hundreds of thousands of restaurant industry workers have been laid off as a result of the pandemic.

In other news

— A new website called Honor — which stands for Help Our Neighborhood Restaurants — highlights restaurants throughout all five boroughs each week that are still open for takeout or delivery.

— Bed-Stuy restaurateurs Autumn Stanford and Dennis Mendoza, the duo behind places like Czech-Tex bakery Brooklyn Kolache and taco spot Swell Dive, have pivoted to contactless takeout and delivery at all their restaurants, Stanford tells Eater.

— Non-profit Food Education Fund has started a program called Food Hub NYC to direct public school students and restaurant industry workers to available food donation centers in the city. The non-profit is also raising funds for the effort.

— The New York Times has rounded-up different signs NYC businesses have posted out front during the COVID-19 pandemic in a new photo essay.

New York Post critic Steve Cuozzo is hopeful that restaurants and landlords will work together to rebound after the ongoing crisis.

— 93-year-old NYC steakhouse Gallagher’s offered different cuts of meat to the city’s firefighters and police officers on Friday. The restaurant remains closed to the public for now.

— Alphabet City fried chicken hit Bobwhite Lunch and Supper Counter has closed temporarily.

— The hack we all need right now:

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