Survey: 86% of restaurant owners say business is worse now than 3 months ago

Kaltrina Rugova never thought her family's restaurant Portofino on City Island would still be struggling almost two years into the pandemic.

News 12 Staff

Feb 1, 2022, 2:13 AM

Updated 846 days ago

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A recent survey from the New York State Restaurant Association found that 86% of restaurant owners say business is worse now than it was three months ago.
Kaltrina Rugova never thought her family's restaurant Portofino on City Island would still be struggling almost two years into the pandemic.
"It's a very confusing time for everyone," says Rugova.
The association says the Omicron variant has hit businesses hard across the state.
Businesses say it's been hard with all of the COVID-19 guidelines constantly changing. Portofino built an outdoor patio deck when indoor dining was not allowed.
"We've spent a lot of money building this with heaters and stuff and it's not put to use," says Rugova. "Following up with the rules and stuff and then now it's like what did we waste this money for if nobody's coming out?"
Restaurant advocates say that efforts at the state and local levels have made a difference, but they want the restaurant revitalization fund to make a comeback.
"Only 35% of our applicants received that funding," says Melissa Fleishut, president of the New York State Restaurant Association.
One thing owners say has helped was the governor's decision to bring back cocktails to go.


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