New restaurant regulations could be ‘knock out blow’ for industry


ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Restaurant owners are concerned whether their businesses will survive the latest regulations by Governor Cuomo to curb the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor announced on Monday a reduction in capacity to 25 percent for indoor dining if hospitalization rates don’t stabilize in the next five days.

“I’ve heard of eight just in the last three hours, of local places that have chosen to close permanently or temporarily,” said Director of the New York Restaurant Association Dominck Purnomo.

As of Monday, the governor reported a .02 percent hospitalization rate for the Capital Region.

“There’s no guaranteed funding, there’s no guaranteed help right now, so what are businesses supposed to do?” said Lark Street BID Chair Patrick Noonan.

In September, a study by the New York State Restaurant Association found about two-thirds of restaurants may close by the end of the year.

“The traditional restaurant experience as most people know it is probably gone,” Noonan said.

Purnomo said the prospect of new regulations could increase the number of closures. The restaurant owner said he’s still holding out hope for a federal stimulus for restaurants called the Restaurant Act.

“Am I next? We’re talking about five days from now puts us two weeks outside of Christmas. I have three young children. What do I tell them, you know, when daddy doesn’t have a job anymore,” Purnomo said.

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