The Next Battles…By David Helbraun
on May 14, 2020 in Coronavirus
MORE BATTLES AHEAD!!!!!
Fresh off a nice little bundle of victories with the City Council, we need to decide on our next battles. So, first let’s recap. We won’t lose our shirts if we turn in the keys and we have some added leverage with landlords. Delivery fees have been lowered and landlords can’t harass us. All good but we are far from done and there is plenty of work left to do to save our hides.
We still need some cash money dollars if we are expected to ever reopen. It’s on average going to cost 100K to reopen the right way. Where is that money going to come from? Nancy and Mitch better start two stepping pretty soon or this honky tonk will be no more. We need some more federal money and we need it pretty soon. Like over the next 6 weeks before the PPP runs dry. And by the way, a big thank you to Tom Colicchio for working OT and hitting the airwaves nonstop along with the IRC to get D.C. to pay attention.
Who else has money for us? How about the State and where the heck are they with that business interruption legislation? Think about how much that would help if insurance companies paid out for lost profits from B.C. to now. That legislation, A10226 is our new 1932. A10226 requires certain perils to be covered by BI insurance. It’s still in committee. What’s the holdup?
Time to get familiar with your State Senator and let them know that you want them to support A10226. Here’s where you can find them: https://www.nysenate.gov/registration/nojs/form/start/find-my-senator
Also, your Assembly Member: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/
Just send them a note and tell them that you support A10226 and ask them if they do and then ask them to please hurry up and get it moving.
How about sales tax? Can’t the Governor give us a break on sales tax? It would be really helpful if we could keep some of the taxes that we are collecting. How hard could that be really? We take half and they take half and that’s a way to subsidize the industry.
At the City level, the Mayor has already said that he won’t give landlords a RE tax break. So, what else can the City do for us? Open spaces for seating? That will help a little for some but not all. How about allowing easy access to food truck permits? Eliminate the cap and let operators hit the streets. Bring the food to the people in a much safer way.
I don’t have all the answers so I want to hear from you, the think tank. Please send me your ideas for how the City, State, and Federal governments can help us out. Consider this the Q of the D for tomorrow and send me your ideas, no matter how outlandish, crude or half-baked. I will publish them all and who knows what it will spark. Maybe a new movement. Also, feel free to send your random rants. Those are always entertaining to read so I’ll publish those also. By the way, we have over 3K subscribers to this newsletter so your bright ideas are actually heard in the industry.
Here’s my rant of the day. Please stop advising restaurateurs to be “creative ” when giving the industry advice on how to move forward. Restaurateurs are already really fucking creative. You see, they create new dishes and they create menus and business plans and they create marketing and social media plans and they create the design of their spaces and they just create all damn day long. So, thanks for the tip but we have creativity covered. Send some money instead. Don’t get me started on “pivot”.
In the words of the late Ram Dass: When there is a task to do, you ARE the task.
David Helbraun is the Founding Partner and Chairman of the firm. He is a lifelong entrepreneur who has been running successful businesses in New York City for years.