July 29, 2021

Local Business Owners React to Mayor’s Shutdown Proposal

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – The COVID-19 positivity rate in Gravesend, Brooklyn has lingered above three percent for more than two weeks, landing it on the list of nine zip codes where the city plans to “rewind” the reopening.

“To rewind, to go back to address the problem by using tools we know work, which is to ensure that non essential businesses are not open and a variety of activities are not happening,” Mayor de Blasio said during Sunday’s press conference.

The mayor’s proposal will close schools and non-essential businesses, and force restaurants to stop indoor and outdoor dining.

With a rate positivity at over 7.5 percent, according to city data, Gravesend is among the highest across the five boroughs.

Most businesses owners along Avenue U NY1 spoke with said they want the city to use other ways to address an escalating positivity rate.

“We go from tough to tougher,” said Yasser Hussein, owner of Famous Pizza Park. 

Hussein said he has laid off employees, his revenue is down about 60 percent, and can’t pay his rent.

“I’ve been five months struggle. Try. Put money here, trying to keep my workers as much as I can. But now, I’m about to throw out my business,” Hussein said. 

Down the street at Lovely Perfect Nails, Joan Sorgen was getting a manicure. She hates the idea of her salon closing on Wednesday and said enforcement should target individuals not wearing masks, not non-essential businesses.

“They depend on money coming in and they are losing customers. It’s not fair to people all around,” said Sorgen. 

If approved by by the governor, the pause on reopening would take effect Wednesday and last between two weeks and 28 days.

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