Assemblymember Bill Colton hosted a press conference on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at Il Centro Italian American Cultural Center, 8711 18th Ave., to discuss how to save local restaurants.
Several organizations, such as the Federation of Italian American Organizations of Brooklyn, the Bath Beach, Bensonhurst & Gravesend Alliance, the Chinese American Social Service Center and the United Chinese Association of Brooklyn were involved.
Restaurant owners from local favorites such as Mama Rao’s Restaurant, Gargiulo’s Restaurant, Homestretch Pub, and La Bella Pizza Express also attended.
Restaurant owners and community leaders had expressed a number of concerns despite the announcement that New York City eateries can open for indoor dining at 25 percent capacity.
“Many of [the owners] want to know what safe guidelines are and if they can rely on any assistance from the government,” said Colton. “Their concern is that 25 percent of indoor dining capacity is simply not enough to stay in business, especially in the winter. Small business owners fear that they will be forced to close the doors for good in the neighborhood. We cannot allow that to happen.”
“The Bath Beach, Bensonhurst & Gravesend Alliance was honored to join William Colton to fight for our local restaurant owners and workers,” said the organization. “We are demanding further action from our governor and mayor to get our local restaurants back on their feet. It was great to hear from local restaurant owners and workers as they are the ones reeling and dealing with the rules set forth to reopen their business.”
Colton also appeared at another conference at Golden Imperial Palace, 618 62nd St.
“The restaurant owners pointed out the lack of help with back rent and relief from property taxes and mortgage payments for building owners as the two most important obstacles of saving neighborhood restaurants,” he said.