By Jessica Easthope
Over the last seven months, Jimmy Buckley’s family business Buckley’s in Marine Park, Brooklyn has gone from booming to barely making it.
“I don’t know how much longer we can keep it going, we’re essentially kicking the can down the road,” Jimmy said.
He’s not alone. The restaurants in the more than a dozen “red-zone” zip codes in Brooklyn and Queens are now back to take-out only, after just recently getting a taste of normal indoor dining. At Buckley’s it only lasted a week.
“We have done everything the governor and mayor have asked of us, following the protocols they put in place and it seems like they keep moving the goal post,” Jimmy said.
Business at Buckley’s is down 75 percent, the established family-owned restaurant that’s been around since 1972 is now losing more than $600 a day.
“It’s completely out of our control, we control everything we can keeping our customers and staff safe,” he told Currents News. “And still, in my opinion, we’re punished for other people who are not following protocols.”
Like other business owners, Jimmy’s searching for answers. He says it’s a reflection of the conflicting information he’s being given. According to the city and state’s plan, the latest closures are only to last two weeks, but Jimmy says he knows better than to hang on the words of the mayor and governor. Just this week they have been reporting vastly different numbers about the city’s infection rate.
“The whole process has been confusing from the get-go,” Jimmy explained. “Between the governor and the mayor, you have to sift through the back and forth to find out what’s accurate.”
For Jimmy and his family, a big part of practicing their Catholic faith is giving back. Right now, not having the means to be as charitable as they want to be has been hard on them.
“We were brought up by my mom and dad to give back and right now it’s difficult to do that, which is hard because it goes against everything we were brought up to do because we’re in such dire need of every penny that comes in right now,” Jimmy said.
Though cases in Brooklyn and Queens continue to level off, Mayor Bill de Blasio said he will announce whether or not closures will remain in effect on Sunday, October 18.