Small businesses in New York City are struggling in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Before 2020, New York City welcomed up to 60 million visitors each year. The iconic Manhattan island was – and will undoubtedly be resurrected as – a tourist hub.
But for now, residents who rely on the travel and tourism industry to pay their bills are facing a seemingly unrelenting storm.
The manager of the souvenir shop Mukhtar Ahmed only stays afloat thanks to the kindness of his owner. He has been unable to pay his rent since March.
“Since we closed our doors here, we have tried to reopen businesses in June. But there are no tourists, ”says Ahmed. “This city, Manhattan, we survive thanks to tourists. But the industry is totally, completely closed. “
Even along the symbolic Fifth Avenue, shops are closed and closed as the pandemic keeps visitors at bay.
Overall, New York’s tourism numbers fell 66% in 2020.