NYC small business owners worried over surge in COVID-19 cases

Nov 22, 2020
In The News

Video available here.


NEW YORK — Small business owners around New York City have geared up for what could be another round of restrictions, as COVID cases continue to rise.

Many mom-and-pop shops braced for more financial struggles and called for government aid.

Nancy Bass Wyden, a 4th generation bookstore owner, said that in the 93-year history of the Strand Bookstore, her family has never experienced the struggles they’ve faced from COVID-19.

“We survived great depressions, two world wars, 9/11, big box stores, e-books and a giant online presence,” said Wyden.

Like the Stand, small businesses around the world and in the heart of Manhattan have been hurting.

As they try to stay afloat while following strict pandemic measures, the owners have called on their elected officials, including Wyden’s own husband, Ron, a senator from Oregon, to do their part.

“I hope the powers that be at every level of government will rise to help all businesses and the families that depend on us,” said Wyden.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined in the fight to survive a second wave. She demanded Senator Mitch McConnell and the U.S. Senate pass the Hereos Act to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program, provide rent relief and provide funding for the MTA.

“If are small businesses and employees don’t get relief soon, they will seep into a depression,” said Congresswoman Maloney.

Congresswoman Maloney also worked on the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act. If passed, it would protect businesses from future pandemics and emergencies by creating a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses.

“It will be a lifeline that will be immediately accessed that can help these small businesses stay alive,” said Maloney.

Although so many businesses have already gone under, there’s still hope for mom and pops as patrons line up outside the Strand as a reminder that brick and mortars are where they want to be.

“I want to live in New York filled with local restaurants, bodegas, mom-and-pop stores which have all contributed to the rich tapestry of New York City,” said Wyden.