We know that COVID has not only caused a medical crisis, but an economic crisis as well, especially for the city’s small businesses.  

More than a thousand restaurants have already closed their doors for good, and there will undoubtedly be more to follow. And just as restaurants appeared to be getting back to business, the Delta Variant and a new surge of COVID cases has forced the city to institute a new mandate:  no indoor dining without a vaccination. 

That could be devastating for a lot of restaurants, but many restaurant owners are taking it in their stride. Moshe Schulman is a managing partner at two Lower East Side restaurants, Ruffian and Kindred. 

He joined In Focus to talk about how his restaurants have jumped ahead of the curve, ending all indoor dining while COVID is surging. 

Schulman said concern for the safety of staff and customers spurred the drastic action, before the city put its vaccine mandate in place. 

He also said he’s pleased the city is getting offering up this new measure, putting the might of the government behind a mandate that would otherwise be hard to enforce. 

While Schulman is confident that his restaurants will survive on the back of outdoor dining and, eventually, vaccinated customers, not all restaurants owners have that much faith. 

Carolyn Richmond is Legal Counsel for the NYC Hospitality Alliance, a non-profit representing many of the city’s thousands of restaurants and nightlife venues to the government. 

Richmond joined In Focus to say that, while most restaurants are happy to have the city’s help in keeping customers and staff safe and healthy, many have not received any PPP benefits and are struggling even harder now to stay afloat.