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DiNapoli relays grim outlook for small business owners in New York

On the Labor Day holiday Governor Andrew Cuomo announced four consecutive weeks of daily COVID-19 transmission rates of less than 1%.

A big moment for a state that was dealing with the worst of the pandemic six months ago.

However, some small businesses are in a deep hole due to the pandemic — even as some are allowed to reopen in New York.


A newsletter from Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office on economic trends in New York, found 18% of responding businesses have either no cash on hand for operations or enough for only two weeks or less.

The survey found that 17% have enough to maintain operations for three or four weeks, while another 24% can get by for one or two months. Meanwhile, the survey showed that 25% of businesses have seen operating capacity decline by half or more from a year ago.

While the state’s unemployment number dropped dramatically between July and August – it paints an incomplete picture of the state’s economy.


The survey found that just 10% of all businesses were unaffected by the pandemic.

The big takeaway from the survey is the lack of optimism: More than 50% of businesses in New York believe it will take upwards of six months to return to a ‘normal’ pre-COVID operating level. Meanwhile, 10% of business owners don’t believe their companies will ever return to normal.

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