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The economic impact in the city from the global pandemic has been striking

It took just a matter of days to shut down New York City, once the coronavirus took hold. Restarting it will take much, much longer.

The economic impact in the city from the global pandemic has been striking: Hundreds of thousands are already out of work; at least $7.4 billion in tax revenue is projected to be lost by the middle of next year.

And the changes will be felt long after New York City News begins to reopen its economy.

How New York City, the epicenter of the country’s outbreak, begins to recapture its vibrancy is a question consuming political, business and cultural leaders.

The very features that make New York attractive to businesses, workers and tourists — Broadway, the subway system, world-class restaurants and innumerable cultural institutions — were among the hardest-hit in the pandemic. And they will take the longest to come back.

Half of the hotels in the city are not operating, and with no reliable forecast for when tourists might return, many may stay shut. Nearly the same portion of the city’s smallest businesses — some 186,000 shops employing fewer than 10 people — could fail, city officials fear. Replacing them could take years.

The city’s real estate and construction industries, major drivers of the local economy, have all but stopped. Millions of renters are struggling to make monthly payments, fueling concern over a cascading crisis in the housing market if rent goes unpaid.

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White-collar business and financial services companies, whose workers were mostly spared immediate layoffs in the shutdown, are forecast to see declining profits next year, and even losses. Some law firms have already pared down pay.


And with social distancing guidelines likely to be necessary for the foreseeable future, all facets of New York’s work life will take on new rules, routines and costs.

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“I don’t think the New York that we left will be back for some years,” said Gregg Bishop, the commissioner of the city’s small businesses agency. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get it back.”

ImageNew York City officials project that the city will lose at least $7.4 billion in tax revenue by the middle of next year.
New York City officials project that the city will lose at least $7.4 billion in tax revenue by the middle of next year.Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
New York is not the only metropolis in the world struggling with how to safely reopen businesses and cultural centers in a dense urban settings, but no city has been more devastated by the pandemic.

The virus has claimed more than 13,000 lives in New York City, a figure that includes roughly 4,400 victims who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.

President Trump has sought swift reopenings across the United States. And on Monday, three Southern states moved toward doing so: South Carolina allowed retail shops to open with social distancing guidelines, and the governors of Georgia and Tennessee announced plans to soon ease restrictions on businesses.

But in New York City, interviews with more than two dozen business executives, city and state officials and industry groups revealed the depths of the difficulties in doing the same, especially when the coronavirus is still filling hospitals and hundreds are still dying each day.

The city’s Independent Budget Office forecast that 475,000 people Press Release Distribution Service In NYC would lose their jobs over the next year; other economists have put the job loss far higher: 1.2 million by the end of April, mostly in low-wage jobs in restaurants, retail or transportation.

And whole industries, gone overnight, do not as quickly return.

In the late 1970s, “It took four or five years for a lot of the city to empty out,” said Kathryn Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City, a nonprofit business group. “It took three or four decades to bring them back.”

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