China zero-Covid lockdowns, CNY vacation impression provide chains, ports

Streets in Tianjin, China, empty on January 10, 2022 as the city goes into partial lockdown following a surge in Omicron cases.

Geno Hou | Future Publishing | Getty Images

Covid lockdowns, quarantines and restrictions are causing a backlog at some of China’s major ports, causing “chaos” and increasing air freight by up to 50% in some cases, analysts tell CNBC.

Ahead of the extended Lunar New Year holiday in China, air freight rates have skyrocketed and some shipping companies have suspended services, putting a renewed spotlight on congested supply chains.

It comes as China presses ahead with its zero-Covid strategy – meaning a recent spike in infections has led to lockdowns and restrictions in major port hubs and major cities across the country.

“Although ports are still open, current restrictions — such as mandatory quarantines and testing — continue to slow transportation and cause delays,” Atul Vashistha, founder and chair of supply chain consultancy Supply Wisdom, told CNBC.

China’s top priority right now is to limit the spread of Covid cases ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics and the upcoming Lunar New Year, he added. However, the resulting curbs at the ports have also created a certain “chaos”.

“Products are piling up while ships are banned from entering. Between negative PCR test requests and last minute rerouting, 2022 starts as 2021 ended – chaos,” Vashistha said, referring to the polymerase chain reaction Covid tests.

Cases have been reported in the main port cities of Shenzhen, Tianjin and Ningbo, as well as in the United States Industrial center of Xi’an, spark arrestors and other curbs.

Infections were also reported in other cities, e.g Dalian and anyang.

The capital Beijing reported its first locally transmitted Omicron infection on January 15. On Sunday, less than two weeks before the Winter Olympics, Beijing authorities introduced new restrictions to stem a recent outbreak after nine locally transmitted cases were detected in Beijing the day before.

the Ningbo eruption in December also triggered some curbs and disrupted traffic in the world’s third busiest port, Ningbo-Zhoushan.

Operations have now largely resumed, but shipments have been diverted to Shanghai — the world’s busiest port — causing congestion and delays there too, Judah Levine, head of research at freight-booking platform Freightos Group, told CNBC.

Supply chain tech firm project44 said the shift from the Ningbo port to Shanghai “backfired on some carriers” as congestion mounted in Shanghai. As a result, Shanghai saw an 86% increase in empty runs year-over-year, it said, referring to an industry term for when an airline decides to skip a particular port or the entire journey altogether.

In an email to CNBC last week, Freightos’ Levine said all eyes are on China and the impact strict outbreak containment measures could have on logistics. “Steps have been taken to quell the spread of positive cases, which have been detected in multiple locations including Beijing, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Dalian and several others,” he said Jan. 19.

Rising air freight rates

Spot prices for ocean shipping en route from Asia to the U.S. West Coast were up 4%, Levine said, but they’re unlikely to rise much further because production is on hold as the Lunar New Year holiday approaches and factories shut down for a while be closed for a longer period of time.

However, air freight rates are still rising, he added.

“With enough time to still move cargo by air, the pre-holiday rush coupled with pandemic-constrained capacity is driving air freight rates higher,” he said, adding that the Freightos Air Index showed that the Rate from China to Northern Europe was $9.59 per kg in mid-January – up over 50% from under $6 per kg in early January.

The Lunar New Year is China’s biggest holiday, and hundreds of millions of people traditionally travel back to their hometowns from the cities where they work.

According to Vashistha, some major shipping companies such as Ocean Network Express and Hapag-Lloyd have suspended their services and operations even earlier than last year to celebrate the season. That puts a strain on already fragile supply chains, he said.

This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the omicron variant, but port troubles in China take these complications to a new level.

John Ferguson

economic impact

Shipping costs have fallen in recent months as supply chain backlogs have reduced, but the recent Covid surge and possible port closures will dwarf any progress made, said Paul Gruenwald, chief economist at S&P Global Ratings.

“I would say that this will slow down the improvement that we’ve seen over the past few months,” he told CNBC’s Squawk Box Asia on Thursday.

Impact of China’s zero-Covid on the Winter Olympics

China’s zero tolerance for Covid will have a major impact on global supply chains, said John Ferguson, globalization, trade and finance practice leader at think tank Economist Impact.

“This latest shock comes at a bad time for global supply chains. They were already stressed out by the holiday season combined with the Omicron variant, but port issues in China are taking those complications to a new level,” Ferguson said.

“China’s zero-Covid strategy is critical as further outbreaks will lead to more closures or lockdowns in key areas,” he told CNBC. “With China approaching the Winter Olympics, as well as major political events later in the year, China is unlikely to abandon its Covid strategy in 2022.”

One bright spot is that many companies have already prepared for stressed supply chain scenarios and are now implementing their plans, he said.

Still, not everything will go smoothly.

“While global companies have become more nimble during this crisis, we should still expect some delays from this latest round of supply chain stress,” he added.

Supply Wisdom’s Vashistha summed it up: “Combine the closures with the increase in Covid-related port congestion, China’s zero-tolerance policy and reduced air transport capacity and the problem becomes even clearer: cargo continues to increase, without there being any way to move it or places to go.”

Stimulus Cash Minimized Impression Retail Closures Had on Retailer Credit score Playing cards

Pheelings Media / Getty Images / iStockphoto

Despite limited access to physical stores at the start of the pandemic, retail credit card-backed securities have not and have not been affected by store closures lead to increased failures, according to data from Fitch Ratings.

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After three rounds of stimulus, more Americans were able to put cash into savings or on outstanding debt. A study by Northwestern Mutual found that personal debt has fallen by more than 20% since 2019.

“The fact that people are making significant strides in deleveraging is encouraging to see, especially at a time when many are still recovering from the financial impact and uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Christian said Mitchell, Executive Vice President & Chief Customer Officer at Northwestern Mutual.

Fact check: Will there be a fourth stimulus check?

The performance of the retail credit card trust is largely influenced by consumer strength. While fees slowed at the beginning of the pandemic, they have since increased to higher levels than they were before the pandemic. Fitch Ratings cites consumer willingness to use federal unemployment benefits and individual stimulus checks to help settle credit card debt.

According to Fitch’s retail credit card index, the 12-month average of late payments of 60 days or more fell from 2.78% in March last year to 1.77% in August. Withdrawal rates are still low with a 12-month average of 4.92% (as of August 2021 from 7% in March 2020) The increase in credit card balances continues to show an upward trend.

Discover: Credit card advice you absolutely need
To learn: Millennials and Generation Z Financial Confidence Raised 60% During COVID-19

Fitch Ratings also noted that as the delta variant spreads, it is too early to say if the balance continues to rise and Consumer confidence is falling. Retail cards also have a lower consumer payment priority.

The story goes on

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Last updated: September 23, 2021

This article originally appeared on Stimulus Money minimized the impact of retail closures on store credit cards

How Blue Origin, SpaceX, Virgin Galactic house race might influence the ambiance

Billionaire businessman Jeff Bezos will launch with three crew members aboard a New Shepard rocket on the world’s first unattended suborbital flight from Blue Origin Launch Site 1 near Van Horn, Texas on July 20, 2021.

Joe Skipper | Reuters

The space industry is taking off after decades of stagnation.

Driven primarily by the rapidly evolving space programs of Elon Musk’s SpaceX and China, the world experienced 114 orbital launches in 2018 – the first three-digit number since 1990. This year, the orbital launches are slated to be for the first time since the 1970s. And that count doesn’t include Jeff Bezos’ most recent suborbital tourism trips Blue origin and Richard Bransons Virgo galactic.

Between planning NASA Moon return, SpaceX is constructing a massive “mega-constellation” of Internet satellite, China Crew of a space station and suborbital companies sending crews of tourists to the edge of space, launches could soon be the order of the day.

But will the new space boom have its price on the planet?

“While we obviously need space launches and satellites, when you think about things like space tourism, you think about the environmental impact,” says Ian Whittaker, lecturer in space physics at Nottingham Trent University in the UK

Researchers are trying to figure out how the Earth might respond to stronger clouds of smoke from rocket exhaust by examining the total mix of carbon dioxide, soot, alumina, and other particles that are collectively emitted by a spreading variety of rockets.

So far, the fledgling space industry is not seriously threatening the environment and likely has room for growth. However, it is unclear whether that will change as the new space race accelerates.

“I don’t think we know enough at this point to pinpoint exactly what this future should look like,” said Martin Ross, atmospheric researcher at The Aerospace Corp. “We just don’t have this information yet.”

Effects on carbon dioxide and climate change

As the world grapples with the move away from fossil fuels, the rise of a new industry – especially one with huge clouds bubbling out from powerful engines – could seem unsettling.

Most rockets emit more planet-warming carbon than many airplanes. A few minutes of weightlessness on the Virgin Galactic spacecraft will leave a carbon footprint comparable to flying business class across the Atlantic, and an orbital launch of SpaceX’s upcoming fully reusable spacecraft will emit as much carbon dioxide as one continuously flying an aircraft for about three years, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation by Whittaker.

A spokesman for Virgin Galactic said the company is “exploring ways to offset carbon emissions for future customer flights.” While SpaceX did not comment directly on CO2 emissions, musk Has supports a CO2 tax Politics. Blue Origin has said its New Shepard missile uses carbon-free fuels like hydrogen and oxygen.

But there are far more commercial airplane flights than space launches – 39 million against 114 in 2018 – too many for the space industry to catch up in even the most ambitious of scenarios. Today missiles burn collectively approx. 0.1% as much fuel as airplanes, which makes their CO2 emissions compared to a rounding error.

Whittaker points out, however, that such calculations neglect the unknown, but likely substantial, carbon footprint of producing, transporting, and cooling the tons of fuel used in space launches

“While it doesn’t coincide with aviation, it’s still a great add-on,” he says.

To achieve carbon neutrality, he hopes the industry will follow Blue Origin’s lead and use carbon-free fuels as well as greener operations by producing fuel locally from renewable energy sources.

What missiles leave in the atmosphere

“If CO2 isn’t in the action, it’s the particles,” says Ross, who has spent decades studying the environmental impact of takeoffs.

The glowing flames that shoot out of a rocket’s engines indicate that when the vehicle burns, soot is produced, technically known as “black carbon”. Any rocket that burns carbon-based fuels like kerosene or methane injects these particles directly into the upper reaches of the atmosphere, where they are likely to circulate for four to five years.

There the growing layer of soot looks like a fine black umbrella. It absorbs solar radiation and effectively prevents sunlight from reaching the surface of the planet, similar to what is suggested Geoengineering schemes intends to temporarily cool the earth might work. Shiny alumina particles emitted by the solid rocket engines of NASA’s upcoming Space Launch System and China’s Long March 11 vehicle make the phenomenon worse by reflecting sunlight.

The effects of this unintended experiment are unknown – except that they could be significant. A simple simulation found by Ross and a colleague in 2014 that the primary cooling effect of dozens of rocket launches is already equivalent to the warming effect of carbon dioxide released by millions of commercial flights.

That’s not to say that the aerospace industry is offsetting the environmental impact of flying. Infusing the atmosphere with novel particles has complex effects, says Ross. For example, their rough model showed that rocket launches cooled some locations by 0.5 degrees Celsius, while they heated the Arctic by more than 1 degree Celsius. And the simulation didn’t try to include side effects, such as whether takeoffs would create clouds or kill. More sophisticated modeling could show that exhaust particulate matter exacerbates overall warming, says Ross.

Other emissions and ozone

Space launches also worry some researchers because rockets emit their exhaust gases directly into the stratosphere, home to the protective ozone layer that blocks harmful ultraviolet light.

Most solid rocket engines emit alumina particles and chlorine gas, which promote chemical reactions that break down ozone into molecular oxygen. SpaceX and Blue Origin have switched to liquid fuels, which are typically less harmful but still contain by-products, including water vapor and nitrogen oxides, which can break down ozone during the years they circulate in the upper atmosphere.

“They’re not harmless,” says Eloise Marais, an atmospheric researcher at University College London. “They have an impact on the atmosphere.”

Marais is working on a prediction of how the current portfolio of rocket fuels could thin the ozone layer in the not too distant future. She has explored the impact of current launches and a speculative scenario where space tourism is proving popular and reliable enough to support a few suborbital launches a day and an orbital launch every week.

The calculations need to be reviewed before release, Marais says, but preliminary results suggest that while today’s launches have little impact on ozone, a booming space tourism industry could begin to change that.

“The effect is big enough that we could worry if the industry grew beyond what we speculate,” she says.

How often the companies will start in the future remains uncertain. Virgin Galactic says it hopes to operate at some point 400 flights per year. SpaceX introduces itself Passengers with spaceship shuttle between major cities in less than an hour, competing with commercial airlines.

Balancing space advances with environmental concerns

Access to space has revolutionized weather forecasting, communications technology, and researchers’ ability to understand how human activities have changed the Earth’s climate. It has also enabled space-based facilities like the International Space Station and a fleet of space telescopes to conduct transformative basic research.

In the future, a thriving space industry could create practical projects from clean, space-based solar energy to Asteroid mining, as well as the search for life in the solar system and other scientific endeavors.

Researchers like Ross don’t want to stop this progress. Rather, they hope to make this possible by identifying potential environmental problems early on. Today’s embryonic space industry is largely harmless, and Ross suggests that an environmental research program could help keep it that way even at maturity.

Stratospheric aircraft could scan rocket clouds directly to learn exactly what they are spewing out, while satellites and ground-based observatories monitor the atmosphere for short-, medium- and long-term effects of take-offs. There is also the unknown effects of obsolete satellites “burning up” and throwing tons of metal particles into the upper atmosphere. Supercomputers could run extensive simulations to determine what levels and types of space activity can be safely conducted.

“We want to avoid a surprising future,” says Ross. “We would like to say that the space industry can now move forward sustainably.”

China’s transportation business leaders weigh in on Covid-19 influence

The coronavirus pandemic could boost newer modes of transport in China, such as making autonomous driving more mainstream, a panel of industry leaders told CNBC.

The Covid-19 outbreak accelerated the commercialization of autonomous aircraft – or driverless drones – used to transport goods, medical supplies and even passengers in and out of quarantine zones, Edward Xu, chief strategy officer at the Chinese drone maker Ehang, told Arjun Kharpal during the virtual CNBC Evolve Global Summit On Wednesday.

Headquartered in Guangzhou, the company made headlines in 2016 when it announced: Passenger drone concept. self-driving cars drive on a road during a test run on February 1, 2018 in Guangzhou, China.

VCG | Visual China Group | Getty Images

“In the future, we will be working with … Chinese government officials to expedite the commercialization of our product,” said Xu, adding that the company had two meetings with regulators and intends to have its passenger drones certified within two years.

The Chinese driverless car start-up has sent some of its unmanned vehicles to transport medical personnel to Covid-affected areas and to transport urgently needed goods. It showed people how new technologies can be used to fight a pandemic, according to founder and CEO James Peng.

“We can imagine that after the post-pandemic era people will become more familiar and comfortable with fully driverless vehicles and we are ready to move that forward,” he added.

Growing demand in urban mobility

While the pandemic made many commuters suspicious of public transportation, some turned to personal mobility devices for their travels.

Chinese electric scooter manufacturer Niu technologies According to CEO Yan Li, saw “great demand for individual urban mobility devices”. He said the company was about to deliver 150,000 units of e-scooters in the first quarter.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

Even after the pandemic, the trend should continue, according to Li. He said people in China would likely continue to commute on scooters as they offer more freedom compared to public transportation.

“We don’t see the trend of people using public transport again. A lot of people are starting to get used to these custom mobility devices and I think that’s a good trend for us, ”added Li.

Future challenges

According to industry leaders, the general adoption of autonomous vehicles faces a number of challenges. boss Peng listed three topics: technical progress, regulation and consumer acceptance.

It takes time for customers to get used to and understand that autonomous driving is indeed a safer and more convenient way of getting around.

“I think from a technical point of view we have made leaps and bounds in the last few years,” he said. Peng added that the company has received a fully driverless test permit in California and will soon also be granted in China.

Driverless vehicles have come a long way over the years as companies have repeatedly tested their technology to fix potential problems and prevent accidents. Still, public and regulatory safety issues remain a major hurdle on the road to mainstream adoption.

According to Xu from EHang, regulation is the “biggest bottleneck” for unmanned passenger drones.

An Ehang 216, a two-seat autonomous aircraft from the drone manufacturer EHang, can be seen at its presentation in Vienna on April 4, 2019.

Leonhard Föger | Reuters

“Because there is no regulation so far. There is no precedent in the past that allows the AAV to fly over the city area,” he said.

“Right now the situation is getting more and more convincing because we have carried out the test flights over 43 cities in 8 countries with more than 4,000 flights carried out,” added Xu.

Convincing passengers to take either driverless cars or autonomous passenger drones also remains a major obstacle.

“On this front, it takes time for customers to get used to how it feels (and understand) that autonomous driving is actually a safer and more convenient way to get around,” Peng said.

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Reveals closing at Caesars Leisure have an effect on Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) – Some live shows are not returning to the real estate operated by Caesars Entertainment in Las Vegas, leaving hundreds of workers unemployed.

This announcement came as a shock to many of the artists and crews working behind the scenes, but the impact extends well beyond these venues.

RELATED: Caesars Entertainment is Closing Smaller Venues and Ending Shows in Las Vegas

“It’s a little heartbreaking because it’s another roadblock to getting back on stage,” said Danielle Flahive, an actress with Crazy Girls, whose show has been canceled for the time being.

The X Rocks Vegas Show at Bally’s is gone for now, and co-producer Matt Stabile says the crew lost more than just their jobs.

“We vacillated after 7 years of openness and these girls became family members and close friends and then suddenly something is taken away from them. We’ll try to use them in our other productions, “said Stabile, who also produces X Burlesque at Flamingo and X Country at Harrah’s.

Meanwhile, the financial ramifications couldn’t just resonate with the performers, including many facets of running a theater show, including PR, marketing, administrative positions, and more.

COVID Pandemic’s Influence on South Florida’s Leisure District – NBC 6 South Florida

Our look at the pandemic effect takes us into an entertainment district that has seen many ups and downs over the past year.

It’s an area you’ve likely been in: Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

“Nobody really knew, I mean, we were all hopeful, people were scared, business owners were scared, they didn’t know what to do, they didn’t know what to do,” says Jodi Tanner, vice president of die Las Olas Association.

The area is Fort Lauderdale’s premier dining, shopping, and activity destination. Tanner is best at telling you that on any given day of the week you would see locals and tourists walking the sidewalk.

When the country closed last March, the boulevard was far from busy.

“It’s been a tough time to be honest,” says Alex Variu, Gran Forno manager.

Gran Forno kept its shop front open during the pandemic, removed seating during start-up, and tried to accommodate all other requests.

“It was tough, the shop was open, we tried to keep it open because the chain stores didn’t have any bread and we tried to help everyone as much as possible,” says Variu.

Marc Leach, pharmacist and owner of The Chemist, can relate to it being a Las Olas staple for 16 years.

“I came in every day during the pandemic and I’d say I’m just one of the happiest guys,” says Leach.

Lucky because they survived the pandemic roller coaster. Some of their neighbors weren’t so lucky.

“It’s tough, it’s not just them, there are a lot of restaurants that are closed and also a lot of businesses, not just restaurants,” says Variu.

Las Olas lost some favorite spots like Timpano Chophouse and Moda Mario, as well as some new editions like Etaru and Talento. They closed the store during the pandemic.

However, when some doors were closed, new stores opened. Las Olas as we once knew it has changed and now there is a rebirth of livelihoods.

“In a really bad situation, people get a little reinvigorated to get out of there, make dreams come true and open the store, open the restaurant,” says Tanner.

Vinos, a small business right on Las Olas, expanded its business and moved across the street. Quiet Waters is a new surf shop. A new jewelry store just opened last month.

There’s Eddie Vs Harborwood at the Hyatt Centric, Hemp Café, and Salt 7th Cuba Libre, a 9,000-square-foot modern Cuban restaurant and pub. will open this month.

“Yeti is doing fantastic and they started in the worst time ever,” says Tanner.

There are more new spots on the way. Las Olas is just one of the many entertainment spots that have changed a lot over the past year. Finally, a year later, companies started talking to NBC 6 about seeing the silver lining and getting back to pre-pandemic levels.

‘Leisure on Lockdown’ panel explores the lasting affect of COVID-19 on {industry} operations, illustration

As a result of the ongoing pandemic, the entertainment industry was forced to almost completely stop production. While the theater industry remains essentially inactive and personal productions are extremely limited, according to Ruthie Fierberg, BC ’10, film and television opportunities are beginning to emerge with strict COVID-19 protocols.

In a panel hosted by the Athena Film Festival titled “Entertainment on Lockdown: How COVID Changed the Industry”, three women who work in television, media and theater discussed the impact of COVID-19 on their respective areas and its impact on jobs and what the industry can look like after the pandemic.

Hosted by Elena Blekhter, BC ’10, a scripted podcast consultant to Spotify and more recently co-executive producer for Netflix’s new series, “Ginny and Georgia,” the panel examined the shift from March 2020 in-person production to remote work .

Fierberg, host of the Why We Theater podcast and former Executive Editor at Playbill, spoke about the large number of theater actors and crew members behind the scenes who are currently unemployed due to the closure of Broadway. Even so, she was optimistic about a staggered reopening of the shows, but admitted that smaller theaters in the community and in the region may not have the same opportunities.

“Broadway will be back. It is not a question of whether; It’s a question of when, ”said Fierberg. “These buildings are historic and many of them are listed so you don’t have to worry about someone taking back the space while smaller theaters on Broadway or in the area are unable to pay their rent to a landlord. they will close. “

Fierberg also noted that, unlike the gradual reopening of indoor restaurants and cinemas, operating with limited capacity for Broadway theaters is financially unsustainable.

“Socially distant theater is definitely not profitable. Ninety percent [capacity] Depending on how long they run, theaters are sometimes not profitable, ”said Fierberg. “The nonprofits will have an advantage here.”

Now television is very much alive – with security precautions. Kelly McCreary, BC ’03, best known for her role as Dr. Maggie Pierce in the medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy,” explained the series’ COVID-19 logs on set.

“The days are structured with a little less work while our hours are shorter – that is, keeping people healthy and making sure people can go home and rest,” noted McCreary. “In a way, it respects our humanity so much more than our habits in this industry in the past.”

Unlike many other TV shows, Grey’s Anatomy took over a COVID-19 storyline when production resumed in Fall 2020. McCreary explained this storyline adjustment as an opportunity to make a compelling statement about the pandemic and honor front workers.

“We have these meaningful connections to these people, to whom we keep paying lip service and saying, ‘Support them’ and ‘Encourage them’ [and] “Give our important people the resources they need, the emotional support, and everything,” said McCreary. “This was our way of actually putting our money where our mouths were and this season is really dedicated to the frontline health workers and telling their stories as they were told to us.”

In addition to Grey’s Anatomy, McCreary addressed the general surge in storytelling and creative opportunity due to the social isolation caused by the pandemic.

“Just look at TikTok: I mean, even bored people get incredibly creative and use their time to do things and express themselves and learn new skills so that they can create and express themselves. I don’t think that will go away. I think there is going to be a lot of really great content, ”said McCreary.

To wrap up the event, panelists looked at the rising awareness of racial injustice and violence against people of color that is at the forefront of entertainment in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and industry-specific initiatives like We See You White, American Theater, a statement by the Anti-racism and representation demands by BIPOC theater artists on the American Theater.

“We were also awakened to the existence of the other pandemic that we have lived [through in] This country since its inception has been that of injustice and violence against non-white people in this country, especially black people … but [also] Almost every other non-white ethnic group, ”said McCreary. “I think there have been a lot of stories about communities that have been on the sidelines. [which] People have developed an appetite for hearing that I don’t think will go away. “

Kelli Herod, Vice President, Post Production at Smithsonian Channel, spoke about the importance of increased exposure, especially in the media. While the pandemic has shed light on the racial inequalities that exist in the industry, artists have made it their business to reinforce underrepresented voices.

“There are also [the fact that] COVID has affected the color communities a lot more so I think the storytelling aspect is … this exciting new change we are seeing, “Herod said. “I definitely hope it stays that way because if people can’t really see their stories or see themselves in the media, then other people can’t see their stories either. It’s just one more thing that stands between us all and really gets along. “

Assistant Editor Katie Levine can be contacted at Follow her on Twitter @itskatielevine.

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Report reveals pandemic’s ‘devastating’ influence on NYC arts, leisure trade | Enterprise Information

FernandoAH / iStockBy MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News

(NEW YORK) – A new report shows the “devastating” impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the arts and entertainment sectors in New York City as many venues, including Broadway theaters, have been closed for nearly a year.

A year ago, almost 87,000 people were employed in the arts, entertainment and recreation sectors in New York City, excluding freelancers or self-employed, according to the latest employment statistics from the New York State Department of Labor.

By April, after the statewide home stay ordinance went into effect, that number had dropped to 34,100 and “hasn’t changed much” since then, said New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office released the report.

Employment in the arts, entertainment and leisure sectors fell 66% year over year in December – more than any other industry in the city, the report said.

“The COVID-19 outbreak is having a profound and very negative impact on this industry,” DiNapoli said during a Facebook livestream on Wednesday. “It’s being forced to shut down venues, throw thousands into unemployment and bring businesses to the brink of collapse.”

The numbers paint a “blatant and devastating” portrait of an industry that “more than prospered” until the pandemic, said DiNapoli. From 2009 to 2019, employment grew 42% – faster than the 30% rate of the private sector as a whole, the report said.

Manhattan is the hub of the city’s arts and entertainment industries and is home to much of its venues and workplaces.

“Every job and company in this previously booming sector must return,” said Gale Brewer, president of Manhattan borough, during the livestream on Wednesday. “It was lost. It has to come back. At the moment Times Square is free.”

Brewer worries that people in the industry have left town for good because of a lack of work.

“We can’t lose your talent,” she said.

The report “puts the numbers behind the feeling that the arts and culture have been hit so hard and that despite great efforts, it is currently the least recovered sector,” she added.

The auditor pointed to a new federal aid package that includes $ 15 billion nationwide for closed arts organizations and earmarked over $ 284 billion to revive the CARES Act paycheck protection program as a potential ointment for the industry.

While performing arts venues, including Broadway theaters, remain closed, some New York City venues and cultural institutions have reopened with restrictions and mitigation measures.

Zoos and aquariums welcomed guests back in July, followed by museums in August with requirements for wearing masks and social distancing, capacity restrictions and timed admissions.

This week, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center hosted their first fanatic sporting events in nearly a year, with capacity capped at 10%. New York City cinemas will reopen at 25% capacity starting March 5th.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has not yet announced a timetable for performing arts venues, despite saying on Feb. 8 that “the overall effort is heading for a reopening with testing.”

“There are venues that we would like to reopen with tests and capacity restrictions,” Cuomo said at a press conference. “Theater, arenas, why can’t you do that with Broadway? You can.”

The Broadway League, which represents theater owners and producers, had previously announced that Broadway performances would be suspended until May 30 this year.

To promote the arts and culture, the state recently launched a new performing arts program, NY PopsUp, that will host over 300 free events nationwide in 100 days.

Next month, New York City will be accepting applications for Open Culture NYC, a permitting program that allows institutions to put on socially distant performances on the city streets. The city recently launched Curtains Up NYC, a program that can connect live venues with federal grants of up to $ 10 million.

With live venues struggling to hold their own for almost a year, some won’t reopen. Among the recent closings, the People’s Improv Theater, a nearly 20-year-old comedy venue, announced last week that it would close its main Manhattan room.

“It has been over 11 months since we were closed and eventually have to surrender to survive,” owner Ali Farahnakian said in a statement. “So we’re in the process of giving up space … thank God for a better future.”

Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Butler County leisure venues uncertain what influence new COVID-19 mandate can have on crowds

Under the plan, the city had 8-foot-by-8-foot squares – the size of two pieces of plywood side by side – eight feet apart, said Adam Helms, head of resident services for the city of Hamilton.

Helms hopes to use the same schedule this year for the 15 scheduled concerts held every week from late May to September, with the exception of Butler County Fair week.

He plans to put six people in each of the 100+ capsules, giving the venue a maximum of about 700 people, or 30 percent of capacity. The cost of each square ranged from $ 40 to $ 100, depending on the band.

The plan went “pretty well” last year, said Helms, who last summer didn’t add any cases of coronavirus that were attributed to RiversEdge.

Nancy Griffith, president of the Sorg Opera House Board, said the downtown Middletown venue could expand capacity from 230 to 280 following DeWine’s announcement.

Still, she said, patrons must wear masks and practice social distancing. The Sorg will host the play “Rumors” from March 5th to 6th, she said.

Adriane Scherrer, organizer of the Broad Street Bash, a summer concert series in downtown Middletown, said it was difficult to keep the crowd at 30 percent because she didn’t know the capacity. In the past the streets were closed and the crowd either sat in folding chairs or walked around.

She said the Broad Street Bash typically draws around 1,700 people to each of its concerts. She said bashes are scheduled for June 9th, June 23rd and July 14th, and the Broad Street Blast is scheduled for July 3rd.

One way to monitor the crowd would be to give out a limited number of wristbands to customers, she said.

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