'Liar': De Blasio is blasted for making the 'outrageous' claim that small businesses are prepared to 'hang on for a few more months' as store owners beg to reopen before they lose everything
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has been blasted as a 'liar' for claiming that struggling small businesses are 'hanging on' and are prepared to stay closed for 'months' yet as he continues to cling on to the city's lockdown despite mounting calls to reopen.
New York City saw just 63 hospitalizations for suspected COVID-19 cases on Monday, less than a tenth of the number on March 20 when the city went into lockdown, but still de Blasio and Cuomo refuse to say when the city will reopen again.
In an interview with WNYC radio on Friday, de Blasio claimed: 'I’ve talked to lots and lots of business leaders, especially the smallest businesses.
'They’re very worried about their futures understandably, but they also are hanging on and they know it can be a matter of months until they’ll be back in action.'
The remark has been met with outrage by small business owners who say they are barely still surviving.
Some called his remark 'outrageous' and particularly offensive from someone who owns two homes in Park Slope, an expensive neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Hundreds of businesses have joined together to form a coalition to reopen the city.
Some have taken it into their own hands to reopen because they simply cannot afford to stay closed any longer, and they have received summonses from the NYPD.
Many are now asking why mega retailers like Costco and Walmart have been allowed to stay open throughout the pandemic while smaller stores that are able to enforce social distancing practices more seamlessly have been forced shut.
Bruce Backman, spokesman for Reopen New York, the coalition, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday: 'I think it's a power grab... you have to wonder, how much lobbying are the big box stores doing to keep themselves the only ones in business?
'When have we ever forced people to go to three stores to buy everything? It's like the Soviet Union.'
Others demanded to know which businesses de Blasio had spoken to that said they were surviving.
'This is not the conversation I've had with moms and pops,' Julia Marsh tweeted in response to the mayor's comments.
Another blasted de Blasio as a 'liar', while Senator Simcha Felder, the Democratic State Senator for New York's 17th District, said: 'Small business owners are bleeding and dying.
'I have yet to hear the Mayor's explanation. Small businesses cannot last another day let alone 6 months.
'Maybe if I was renting out 2 Park Slope homes I'd understand.
He is still collecting rent from his tenants, saying they were employed and able to pay their rent.
'Out of all the things that have come out of his mouth, this is the most outrageous.
'He lives in a de Blasio land. That is the furthest thing from the truth. He is not in touch with reality and all he has to do is walk down a commercial corridor to understand what is happening to our small businesses.
'He is setting up the city for failure. He’s going to leave City Hall in the worse condition that this city has experienced since World War II and the Great Depression,' councilman Mark Gjonaj told The New York Post.
De Blasio and Cuomo refuse to address why New York City cannot reopen yet despite mounting losses in the commercial sector.
Major landlords collected just 20 percent of their normal income in April and May, and leaders in the hospitality industry say they predict job losses of up to 68 percent.
'For leisure and hospitality, including restaurants and hotels, the downturn equates to a virtual apocalypse — a job loss of 68 percent.
Staten Island restaurateurs Max Calicchio and Alison Marchese (left) and an employee from Aunt Butchie's (right). They are all begging the local government to let them start making money again
'There’s a great concern that many of these jobs are lost. The slow reopening is not going to help the restaurant sector,' E.J. McMahon of The Empire Center added.
The number of new hospitalizations and deaths every day has lowered consistently for weeks.
There were 73 deaths on Monday across the entire state of New York and every other region has been told it can reopen this week.
Mid-Hudson reopens today and Long Island will reopen tomorrow.
New York City, according to the officials, still does not have enough contact tracers or hospital beds to reopen.
There is mounting pressure to reopen New York City from small businesses
Another 800 contact tracers and 420 hospital beds are needed before the city can reopen, by the officials' standards.
'The mayor’s policies are crushing our businesses, but even worse they are destroying New York.
'We the small business owners and worker, who are the lifeblood of the city’s economy and its dreams for the future are pleading with him to trust us to open our businesses safely, before it is too late.
'These policies are counterproductive, cruel and they are indiscriminately targeting our working and middle classes.
'They are exacerbating the gap between rich and poor,' Backman, of Reopen NY, a coalition of 300 small businesses, told DailyMail.com on Tuesday.
His comments have been echoed by others in Staten Island - which has the lowest numbers of anywhere in the city but is still closed - and other elected officials.