Building Trades, Features, Health and Safety, New York

Time To Get Back To Business

August 19, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

New York, NY – It has been more than 22 weeks since Governor Cuomo announced the shutdown and put New York State on pause. At the time, nobody knew how long this would last. No one knew what Covid-19 was capable of and nobody knew how hard the City would be hit. At most, people assumed the pause would last a few weeks or maybe a month.  But here we are now, nearly six months later and the City has yet to be anything like its former self. Although the cases have decreased and the infection rate has fallen below 1%, we are still in a quasi-state of quarantine. Stores are still closed and businesses have not reopened. There are buildings throughout the City with boards on their windows.

The phases to reopen have advanced since the shutdown. However, the fact remains that our livelihood has been severely impacted. The question is when will we get our city back?

As of August 24, gyms will open and must adhere to the appropriate safety protocols.
Although some businesses have resumed, other businesses have yet to open. Consider the new businesses that opened at the same time the shutdown began. What happened to them?

Think about the longtime businesses that couldn’t hold on and had to shut their doors. Think about the domino effect of GNC stores closing or the 696 Gourmet Delicatessen on 3rd. These stores closed as a result of Covid..

Think about places like the Market Cafe on the 43rd Street side of 425 Lexington. The store closed for scheduled renovations at the end of February. The owner planned to build something new. Consider the construction that was stopped due to the Governor’s orders and the rent that was due either way.

 “It took some time,” said an employee of the old Market Cafe. “We had to wait it out and see what would happen but eventually, the building worked with us and construction resumed.”

Now called the Bagel Market, the owner explained, “We’ll just have to see what happens next,” after their grand reopening. 

For now, business is slow for everyone. Tenants and workers at the commercial office building have yet to return. 

“Maybe more people will be back after Labor Day,” explained one of the patrons after ordering his bacon, egg, and cheese on an everything bagel. 

“I hope so,” agreed another customer.

I agree. It’s time to get some life back into our city. Especially since the anniversary of 9/11 is upon us, it’s time for New York City to show the rest of the world how we rebuild after a tragedy. So ante up, De Blasio. Our city is waiting to get back to business.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of the IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach, and Peer & Wellness Advocate.  Ben can be reached at

August 19, 2020

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