AIRMONT, New York — Racks of airy bounce maxi-dresses and bright long-sleeve acme adhere central Sareka on Saddle, afresh unwrapped and never approved on. The women’s bashful accouterment boutique has been shuttered aback March, aback the accompaniment allowable all non-essential businesses bankrupt to advice axis the advance of COVID-19.
Now, about three months later, Deena Bechhofer and her parents are alpha to worry. They accordingly own the boutique in Airmont, adjoining to Monsey, New York, a heavily ultra-Orthodox area. If they don’t alpha affairs the annual it will beggarly a cogent accident abutting quarter.
“It’s our busiest season. During the bounce and summer you can’t get long-sleeve shirts in Target or continued skirts. It’s like actuality a non-Jewish endemic toy abundance shut afore Christmas,” Bechhofer said of the store, which primarily serves the Orthodox Jewish women of Rockland County.
If the commodity doesn’t move anon it will be too late, said Bechhofer’s mother, Rivka Abramowitz. The accouterment will either accept to be steeply discounted abutting year or warehoused.
“As we say in Monsey, no one wants to eat kugel on a Sunday,” she said.
Deena Bechhofer and her mother Rivka Abramowitz own Sareka on Saddle and are acquisitive to get the blooming ablaze from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reopen. (Cathryn J. Prince/ Times of Israel)
And so Bechhofer abutting #ReopenNY. The accumulation of added than 160 mostly Orthodox Jewish babyish business owners is argumentation with Gov. Andrew Cuomo to acquiesce them to accessible anon — admitting with austere precautions. These accommodate arcade by arrangement only, apprehend guards, Purell at the admission and throughout the store, and a austere facemask policy.
“COVID is not a antic for us. No one is adage COVID is not dangerous. No one is adage COVID does not exist, but we accept one simple goal, to get us aback to assignment in the safest way possible,” Bechhofer said.
If big box food can annual hundreds at a time, we citizens should be appropriately trusted to annual abate numbers of assemblage in our business
There are some 465,000 babyish businesses statewide. According to the #ReopenNY plea, “if big box food can annual hundreds at a time, we citizens should be appropriately trusted to annual abate numbers of assemblage in our business. Common faculty dictates that it is acutely abundant easier to adviser abate added controlled environments and enterprises.”
New York accompaniment is in actuality reopening — aloof not all at once.
As allotment of Cuomo’s 12-step plan, a phased reopening will see some regions in New York Accompaniment up and active afore others. Bristles regions are accepted to accessible by the end of May, but acutely addled Rockland Canton and New York City acceptable won’t accessible until mid-June.
According to the Rockland Canton Coronavirus website, on May 25, about 30 percent of association were adulterated with COVID-19 and 618 had died. The canton includes heavily ultra-Orthodox areas such as Monsey, Ramapo, and Airmont, area accouterment abundance Sareka on Saddle is located.
To accretion an on-the-ground faculty of how businesses are faring beneath coronavirus crisis closures, the Times of Israel visited areas surrounding New York City with ample Jewish populations and batten with several ultra-Orthodox babyish business owners. A mid-June aperture is too continued to wait, said the babyish business owners interviewed for this story.
The owners said they’re not aloof afraid about what they see as a bifold accepted in activity appear them against ample chains. As closures draw on, added babyish businesses may assuredly shutter, which in about-face would amount millions of absent jobs.
Rivkie Feiner, CEO of Universal Communications Network, Inc. (Cathryn J. Prince/ Times of Israel)
“The governor has to acquisition a way to do article and we all accept to be accessible to go aback he says we can open,” said Rivkie Feiner, CEO of Universal Communication Network, Inc., a admission autograph and cardinal communications abutting based in Monsey.
To that end, Feiner has already able guidelines for her all-female staff. Aback they acknowledgment to assignment their desks will be added than six anxiety (two meters) apart, bodies will be asked to booty their temperature daily, and duke sanitizer will be stationed about the office. But so far the appointment stands empty.
“We’re fed up. We charge to augment our families,” said Simcha Minkowitz, who forth with her bedmate owns Amor Fine Jewelry in Brooklyn.
Recently Minkowitz sat in her car, recorded a video and uploaded it to Twitter. In it she pleads with Cuomo to acquiesce small, non-essential businesses to reopen aback they were affected to abutting in March as allotment of New York’s “Pause” order.
Minkowitz absitively to accomplish the video, which has been beheld added than 330,000 times, afterwards her bedmate aggregate a adventure about a acquaintance of endemic whose business was declining and would acceptable accept to close. About 47 percent of 5,800 babyish businesses surveyed in backward March don’t apprehend to still be accessible at the end of the year, according to The New York Times.
Simcha and Zalman Minkowitz achievement to reopen their store, Amor Fine Jewelry, soon. (Mushka Krinsky)
Although Minkowitz said her boutique is not in crisis of closing permanently, the annual larboard her activity ashamed — decidedly because beforehand that day she chock-full in a 7-Eleven with her six accouchement to get them a amusement for actuality so able-bodied behaved all week. Walking out of the abundance she said it hit her: all the ample alternation food such as 7-Eleven, Target and Walmart were open. That seemed hypocritical to her.
Why she wondered, couldn’t their babyish abundance accessible if they active austere measures? And so she hit record.
“It was a alarm to action. I was devastated. My parents were entrepreneurs and I grew up seeing them go through up and down, but they consistently fabricated it through. The abridgement is crumbling and I’m so done,” Minkowitz said.
When Amor Fine Jewelry does reopen it will charge to accept austere concrete break requirements which will, amid added things, bind the area to a best 50% control at all times. That includes both advisers and customers.
Minkowitz said she would ensure austere adherence to these policies. Like Becks, she said barter would charge to accomplish accessories and abrasion facemasks.
Simcha Minkowitz fine-tunes a affectation in her store, Amore Fine Jewelry. (Mushka Krinsky)
“My abundance is my space. It’s like my home, and no one cares about your home like a homeowner,” Minkowitz said.
Abramowitz of Sareka on Saddle agreed.
“I don’t appetite to accessible fully, but my buzz is campanology off the hook. Bodies are accessible to shop,” she said, abacus that because best of their customers, abundantly ultra-Orthodox, don’t accept admission to the internet, online arcade isn’t an option.
Nevertheless Al Samuels, admiral of Rockland Business Association, said he urges babyish businesses be patient.
“Our governor has been the best bourgeois about apropos apropos bloom affliction first. The bloom of our bodies appear first,” he said. “I appetite them to be healthy, to be able to get up and assignment every day. I appetite their barter to be healthy. I anticipate we charge to chase the guidelines alike admitting they are actual hard.”
New York now has unemployment of 13%, the accomplished amount aback the Great Depression. In the aftermost bristles weeks alone, 1.4 actor New Yorkers filed for unemployment insurance, according to the New York Department of Labor.
However, the abstracts doesn’t accommodate part-time or self-employed workers such as Mendel Rosenfeld of Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
Right now Rosenfeld is blind on by a thread. Originally from Zurich, he launched Swiss Contest a year ago, so called because he prides himself on attention and accurate planning. The new business, which was off to a able start, would augment the bacon he becoming planning contest for Chabad International, which represents all-around Chabad Hasidim from its address in Crown Heights.
Then the cancellations started. And they didn’t stop.
“The contest business is based on bodies accepting together, and according to the way it looks now it’s not achievable I’ll be able to accessible in the accountable future,” he said.
Mendel Rosenfeld afresh launched his own accident planning business, Swiss Events. (Courtesy Mendel Rosenfeld)
Overall Rosenfeld said he’s bulging a accident of amid $20,000 and $25,000 this year.
“I’m actual afraid about the year ahead. I absolutely don’t apperceive how I will survive. I’ve had no banknote breeze for a ages or two and my coffer annual will be empty. I don’t apperceive what to do,” he said.
I absolutely don’t apperceive how I will survive. I’ve had no banknote breeze for a ages or two and my coffer annual will be empty. I don’t apperceive what to do
Rosenfeld’s options are limited. His accountant is allowance him cross an appliance for the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but because he abandoned employs freelance and part-time workers it’s not bright what the aftereffect will be.
The PPP helped Sareka on Saddle’s Abramowitz, but it abandoned went so far.
“It paid for one ages of rent, barely,” she said. “My advisers accomplish beneath money with that than with unemployment.”
Entrepreneur Chaim Homnick of Cedarhurst, Continued Island, who runs a girls’ day affected and a apprenticeship center, has altered worries.
Camps ability yet accessible and he’s auspiciously run his apprenticeship annual remotely. Instead, Homnick is afraid about Lavish Layette, a babyish and toddler accouterment abundance he and his wife bought backward aftermost year. They invested several thousand dollars modernizing its attending and afterlight the inventory.
Simcha Minkowitz urges New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to acquiesce babyish businesses to reopen at a ReopenNY event. (Naftali Marisow)
“We should accept done $100,000-$140,000 in three months. Instead we accept done $20,000 in online sales while discounted heavily at 25% off, so we are ashore with a lot of inventory,” Homnick said.
Everyone in Homnick’s amusing amphitheater knows addition who had COVID-19 and so it’s not article he or others interviewed for this adventure booty lightly.
Our acknowledgment to the virus charge be adequate with the threat
“We’re not apprenticed of it. We’re not downplaying it, but the end of May is not like it was at the end of March. Our acknowledgment to the virus charge be adequate with the threat,” he said. “We aloof appetite to see the ablaze at the end of the tunnel.”
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