Alliance for Coney Island pushes for amusement park rides to reopen in Phase 4 to help businesses
Sales are down for Coney Island businesses on what would normally be one of the busiest weekends of the year.
Alexandra Silversmith, the executive director of the Alliance for Coney Island, says that many of the businesses are reporting that their sales are down about 80% compared to this time last year.
That includes places like Paul's Daughter Restaurant, where Stephen Gaffney has worked for 12 years. He says it has been the slowest he's ever seen things.
"There have been days down here where we're standing here…we don't make payroll. We would have a packed bar, shoulder to shoulder, there would be tables full," he says.
Silversmith says that there likely won’t be any major events this year, which is an added blow to many of the businesses that operate seasonally and have already been struggling because of the pandemic.
"We didn't have the Brooklyn half here, we didn't have the mermaid parade. This is the third like biggest event that we're missing. It's very hard and we're very worried about just the impact," she says.
Now that city beaches are opened, Silversmith says the alliance is pushing for the amusement park rides to also be able to reopen in Phase Four, hoping to bring in more business for the restaurants and shops in the area.
She says she is also hoping that state and city officials can consider giving a grant to the businesses to help with rent and other expenses.
"There is the Payroll Protection Program and that was helpful for the beginning of the pandemic, but we're far past that now. We're really hoping that people will come out and just support the businesses, grab a bite to eat, wear their mask, keep it safe for everybody but to support these businesses," she says.
Silversmith says the alliance will be able to better asses the impacts on business at the end of the summer