NYC Sees 40 Pct Hike In Bankruptcies As Office Workers, Tourists Stay Home

Bankruptcy filings are surging in New York City with almost 6,000 closures, representing a 40 percent increase, according to Bloomberg, and it’s forecasted to keep getting worse.

Bloomberg predicted more landlords will kick tenants out for not paying rent, businesses will lose money after burning through reserves and financial aid, and colder temperatures will make it harder to offer safe outdoor dining and shopping.

The coronavirus is showing signs of a return after several weeks of low positive test rates, with over 1,000 new cases in the state of New York on Saturday (Sept. 26), the first time in months, Bloomberg reported. The spikes were especially concentrated in the south Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods with large Orthodox Jewish communities observing Yom Kippur.

Because of all of these factors, attorney Al Togut, who’s worked in bankruptcies before, predicted an “avalanche” of bankruptcies in the fall and winter, Bloomberg reported. There could be as many as a third of New York’s 230,000 businesses closed, with the effects of dropping tax revenue already being felt in less municipal services like trash pickup and policing for increased shootings.

If the pandemic does worsen in the winter like several analysts and experts have worried, New York could be forced to close businesses again and prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people, which could have further debilitating effects on the economy in the area.

The fall in tourism, meanwhile, has hurt New York’s Broadway theater productions, not slated to open until 2021 now, CNBC reported, after several pushbacks in reopening dates over the past few months.

New York’s Metropolitan Opera announced cancellations for its entire 2020-21 season, which CNBC called “ominous” for all other performing groups.

Theatergoers’ absence is having ripple effects on the rest of the economy — without them traveling to come to the city, restaurants and retailers are seeing less revenue, too.

According to the Actors’ Equity Association, which represents around 51,000 stage actors and managers, over 1,100 actors and managers have lost work during the pandemic, CNBC reported.