“Financially Devastated” — 83% Of NYC Restaurants Unable To Pay July Rent

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Ronald McDonald House Was One of the Chicago Looters’ Targets

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Some Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City could face up to life in prison if they’re convicted of splashing red paint and smashing windows during a protest, a potential punishment that stands out among demonstrators arrested around the country and one that critics say doesn’t fit the alleged crime.

The felony criminal mischief charges are more serious because they carry a gang enhancement. Prosecutors said Wednesday that’s justified because the protesters worked together to cause thousands of dollars in damage, but watchdogs called the use of the 1990s-era law troubling, especially in the context of criminal justice reform and minority communities.
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Attorney General William Barr has promised the Justice Department will not take any action to influence the upcoming election. But Democrats and department veterans aren’t so sure about that.

In opinion pieces and letters, they warn that Barr might be preparing to spring an “October Surprise.” There’s one big reason for that: recent testimony from the attorney general himself.
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The state of the New York City restaurant industry is in dire straits. July proved to be another disastrous month for restaurants, bars, and nightlife establishments across the city with a majority unable to pay rent in July, a new survey found.

NYC Hospitality Alliance surveyed about 500 owners and operators of eateries in the city, with 83% of respondents indicating they couldn’t pay the entire rent in July while 37% paid no rent at all.

“Restaurants and nightlife venues are essential to the economic and social fabric of our city, but they are struggling to survive and absent immediate and sweeping relief so many will be forced to close permanently,” said Andrew Rigie, executive director of The Alliance.

“While complying with the necessary pause, our industry has been uniquely and financially devasted. Small businesses urgently need solutions from government leaders at the city, state, and federal level, inclusive of extending the moratorium on evictions, extending the suspension of personal liability guarantees in leases, pausing commercial rent taxes, providing landlords with needed support, and infusing small businesses with enough cash to weather the storm,” Rigie said.

To make matters worse, 71% of owners and operators said landlords “would not waive portions of rent due to COVID-19.” About 61% said, landlords “would not defer rent payments,” while 90% of landlords “would not formally renegotiate leases.”

Indoor dining in the city remains halted, “outdoor dining service is not generating sufficient revenue to cover rent and other expenses, small business owners in the industry continue to express significant concerns about surviving the pandemic and staying viable in the future,” said The Alliance.

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