字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 Hopefully today some more of the workers show up. I think a lot of 'em are just very scared. We have to do it. It's something that we must do because we really just can't close. The coronavirus Pandemic is putting America's 30 million small businesses to the test. From nail salons, to grocers, to restaurants. They're all facing an existential threat. Every day I wake up and I keep my fingers crossed that this will end. I don't know what our future holds. I don't really want to think about it. A month of what some experts compared to a power blackout has nearly halved economic activity. One additional month could lead to the permanent loss of one fourth of all U.S. business establishments, equaling four trillion dollars in revenue. For New York City, the Independent Budget Office estimates that the virus could cost the city nearly 10 billion dollars in lost tax revenue. That could be catastrophic for the cities and the entire country's small businesses, who are the main drivers of employment, innovation and growth. The COVID-19 situation has really been hammering our small businesses across the country. But there are a number of businesses that haven't had to shut their doors. Grocery stores need food, pharmacies need drugs. Your Internet has to continue to work. The water has to turn on when you turn the faucet. Essential businesses are fortunate to stay open when most can't. Most of our staff members are happy to have a job. I mean, we're thankful for that, of course. But then the second thing kicks in. It's like all of us have families and our safety comes, you know, as if not more important than a paycheck. Keeping your doors open during a pandemic is anything but straightforward, especially for small businesses. It doesn't help that the 349 billion dollar loan program for small businesses ran out in merely two weeks. It remains to be seen that the new 484 billion dollar relief package will get into the hands of those most in need. This is probably the biggest leadership challenge any small business person has ever faced. When the orders come over next door to our restaurant, we're the ones accepting them and putting them away and doing all the work because we don't have a lot of staff. Also, because we don't have a lot of orders. We don't have a lot of money to pay the staff. So it's just all kind of falling on to us. If it last a few months like this, it's going to be very difficult, it's going to be extremely difficult. It'll be years before we fully understand the economic impact of the coronavirus. While the lockdown continues, essential small businesses in New York City, the epicenter of the pandemic, are barely holding on. The coronavirus, or the COVID-19 disease, has turned the world upside down, nearly every state governor has ordered businesses to temporarily shut down and residents to stay home. This is not life as usual and accept it and realize it and deal with it. More than 50,000 major retailers and restaurants, and about 54 percent of America's 30. 2 million small businesses, were deemed non-essential and told to close. Though some states are cautiously considering reopening parts of their economies. The country is far from returning back to normal. I had a gut feeling that things were going to change a little bit. I actually spoke to a couple of my managers I was telling them to stock up a little bit more on a dry good that I thought there might be some kind of panic, but to be quite very honest with you, not in my wildest dream I thought it would go to this level. What makes a business essential varies a bit depending on the state. For example, in Arizona, golf courses are still open. In Pennsylvania, medical marijuana dispensaries are essential, but liquor stores are not. And in Alabama, gun stores are considered too important to be shut down. All states agree though, that grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations are absolutely necessary. You kind of feel, you have to serve the country that it's been good to you. You have to serve the neighbors that have been good to you all these year. So it comes in with that kind of sense of responsibility that keeps me going. I mean, I have been working now for almost 30 days straight. I haven't taken a day off. Mo Issa is the owner of Brooklyn Fair, a chain of three grocery stores and a three Michelin starred restaurant under the same name. Most three stores are considered essential, as is his restaurant, but only for deliveries and takeout, something for which his fine dining establishment wasn't equipped. It's something I take a lot of pride in and we had to close it down, and I had to lay off quite a few people that worked at the restaurant. It's pretty sad. It's usually very busy and beautiful but now it's completely shut down. New York City, like the rest of the country, is made up of small businesses. 98 percent of the more than 220,000 businesses employ less than 100 people. But during a crisis, being small comes with a host of challenges. For example, large retailers like Wegmans or Whole Foods have dedicated crisis management teams and generally run on larger profit margins. I'm a one man show kind of, basically I do it all. So the challenge for a small guy like myself to do it and do it right. It's extremely hard because of the resource. I don't have the same deep pockets as they do. Mo has increased his workers hourly wage from $15 to $17. Still, he says he spends most of his days convincing worried employees to come to work. He's running three sizable grocery stores that he says gross about 42 million dollars a year on nearly half of the regular staff. It's about 6:15 in the morning, 6:20 going to pick up the food from 37th street to take it to the Brooklyn store because we had to close the kitchen in Brooklyn store because we're short on employees. The stores are doing more business volume wise, dollar wise head counts has dropped a lot. Before we were like at 250 to over 260. Now we're running three stores like in about 150, 145. It depends from day to day. I lose two, three come back and every morning I just got to deal with it. It's like whose coming, who's not coming? If a McDonald's goes from having 40 workers to 36 workers, well, it stays open. If you run a small restaurant and you have eight workers and you go to five or six workers, you might have a tough time. Not too far from Mo's downtown Brooklyn store, Leslie and Matt own a coffee shop and a burger restaurant. This is not their first crisis. A fire at the coffee shop in 2014 set them back for years. But this pandemic is different. After nearly all twelve employees said they were too scared to work. They shut down the cafe. We were open for the staff so that they could all get paid and have a purpose and keep doing what they loved to do. But when people started showing up it just didn't make sense anymore to stay open. This is our tiny kitchen. We're just cranking out burgers, fries... The couple estimate revenue to be around 40,000 for the month of April, but 30 percent has to go to third party delivery companies like Caviar and Uber Eats. And with 30,000 in expenses between the two shops, they're unlikely to break even. It's extremely strenuous. Bills don't go on pause. Jonathan Goldstein and his brother are third generation owners of Park Avenue Liquor Shop. The store is nestled between bustling Grand Central and Bryant Park. With no commercial business and nearly no foot traffic. The business is down 75 to 80 percent. They had to lay off more than half of the staff. I don't think people want to be in midtown or in a crowded part of the city. So we're missing that part of the business. We're missing corporate business. There are no parties, there are no staff meetings. There's no after hours. Let's say we have a good, four to six weeks before we have to seriously look at the books and say if it's worthwhile. Changes in spending habits is one of the most immediate effects of the pandemic. Spending in every category available has decreased except for alcohol and groceries. Not surprisingly, online sales have skyrocketed. Mo's stores have had a similar trajectory. He says the three stores used to earn 5,000 to 6,000 dollars a week. Today, they're generating nearly $200,000 in online sales. We're keeping people like almost up to 1 o'clock in the morning just filling in orders. Some of them come in at 5:00 in the morning and we're doing the best we can. We used to do it within a 24 hour window. Now we expand the window like almost six days and we kind of run it almost six days behind. As we've reported before, the U.S. is unlikely to run out of food. But as the virus continues to spread to workers and processing plants, warehouses and grocery stores, so have concerns over the impact on the supply chain. This could especially impact small, essential businesses. When you have scarce resources and you have scarce time and you're trying to set up priorities. Having a large grocery store supplied, that can serve a lot of people, maybe that's more important. We are getting about 20 percent to 30 percent sometimes of the orders that we order. Sometimes it just doesn't show up because it's not like they don't want to do it. They just don't have it. Plus, my suppliers' having the same issue with labor as me. Being small and essential also means you're at the shop more. Mo, Leslie and Matt, and Jonathan spend their entire days in their stores along with their frontline employees. That goes a long way when you're dealing with a public health crisis that's extremely contagious. We've been driving one of our employees back and forth from work every day because we don't want him on the trains and we know that he needs to work. I go to every store, every single day, six days a week, all the time. I know their names. I know their family. I know their pain. I know what they're going through. All businesses have shut their doors, but the bills are still piling up. The Small Business Administration launching a program. In late March 2020, the government responded to the economic havoc brought on by the coronavirus with the biggest relief package in history. Three hundred and forty nine billion of the 2 trillion is dedicated to small businesses. That can be the saving grace for the many small, essential and non-essential businesses who are holding on by a thread. According to a survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, as of April 9th, 2020, 70 percent of small businesses had applied for help. Numbers we're seeing are dramatic. We are processing billions of dollars of loans an hour and we are receiving and approving thousands and thousands of applications a day. The four temporary programs are meant to help small businesses cover payroll and other expenses during the pandemic. According to Bulger, lenders are supposed to release the money within 10 days of government approval. However, in New York City, as well as in many other regions, relief has been lagging. On the early morning of April 3rd, the first day of applications. Leslie and Matt stayed up late to make sure they would be ahead of the curve. Waiting, waiting, waiting, 12:30 and we were like, this is not happening. And then Friday, our banker reached out again and said, no Friday they said we're not ready. Monday we're going to have the forms ready so you guys can start submitting. And then Monday, our bank was like kind of a disaster also. Look, are there glitches? Are we trying to work out the bugs as we're going through it? Yes, because it is so new. We're bringing on hundreds and hundreds of new lenders that are just- who've never worked with the SBA- so yes there's been tremendous challenges, but it's a 24/7 effort.