December 9, 2022

NYC business owners rip de Blasio over threat of new lockdown

Business owners in COVID-wracked city neighborhoods targeted for a new lockdown ripped Mayor Bill de Blasio over the move Sunday.

“My plan?! What’s my plan?! Start drinking?!” said Queens restaurant owner Syed Hossain when told of the mayor’s proposal to shut down indoor and outdoor dining again, as well as public and private schools and all non-essential businesses, in his and eight other neighborhoods starting Wednesday.

Hossain, 24, is the owner of Tikka Indian Grill at 119-30 Metropolitan Ave., Kew Gardens — in zip code 11415, which had an average positive-test rate of 3.81 percent for the coronavirus for the past two weeks.

The city has set its threshold at 3 percent.

“I gotta call my parents!” said Hossain, who also owns three other city restaurants — including one in the 11211 zip code in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which is on a city “watch list” and under threat of lockdown, too.

“I just bought $3,000 worth of outdoor dining supplies today,” the beleaguered businessman told The Post. “Every [eatery owner] just bought outdoor heaters, they’re almost $2,000 each. They’re nonreturnable.

“Mr. Mayor, you are going to put everyone in these neighborhoods out of business!”

Cathy Alaimo, 59, who has owned Europa Pizza at 20th Avenue and 65th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, with her husband since 1992, said, “I was hiring — and now I’ve got to fire everyone again.”

“It’s too much,” said the pizzeria owner, whose shop is in the zip code 11204 — where there was a 6.74 percent positive-test-rate average for the past two weeks.

“[De Blasio] doesn’t know what the meaning of work is,” she said. “He has to stop this.”

John Morantes, the manager of the bar and grill Hangar 11 in the same section of Kew Gardens as Hossain’s eatery, griped that the city “should close the churches and synagogues!

“It’s going to be hard to survive,” the 32-year-old worker said.

“But we gotta do it to keep people safe. We’ll close. We will try to keep a few working, but we can’t keep everyone working.”

Judith Bautista, 36, was with her 10-year-old son Jian at Brooklyn’s Gravesend Park, which is in the zip code 11223 — another area targeted for lockdown again.

Bautista said the community — which has seen a 7.59 percent positive-test rate in the past two weeks — employs a large number of Spanish-speaking immigrants who were  already reeling from the economic downturn.

“A lot of people I know, they owe three, four or six months of rent,” Bautista said.

Her son is not affected by the potential school closure because he attends a charter school and is already all-remote.

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