New York City is spending tens of millions of dollars on arts and cultural institutions while leaving small businesses high and dry and slashing law enforcement budgets.
The city's Department of Cultural Affairs announced Tuesday that it would be giving $47 million in grants to more than 1,000 culturally focused nonprofit organizations, the New York Times reported. Some of the beneficiaries include the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, the Apollo Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and the Museum of Chinese in America — all of which will receive more than $100,000.
While the newspaper reported that $3 million out of the $47 million will go to organizations in low-income neighborhoods and to those most affected by the pandemic, the news is still likely to receive pointed criticism.
It comes as small businesses all over the city remain shuttered under stringent coronavirus lockdown mandates and just months since the city opted to slash the police budget by $1 billion. The Times even noted that the news comes amid "a year filled with layoffs and budget cuts."
Small businesses in the city such as restaurants, bars, and retails shops have been greatly suffering under heavy-handed lockdowns. In August, the Times reported that one-third of the city's small businesses were in danger of closing their doors forever because of the pandemic restrictions. As of late November, their grim prediction appeared to be coming true.
Then just last week, Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced a new ban on indoor dining as part of an effort to combat a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. The move came despite estimates from the governor's office showing that restaurants and bars accounted for less than 1.5% of the virus' spread while household and small social gatherings accounted for nearly 75%.
Democratic New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned recently that a "full shutdown" might be looming.
What's more is that the city itself — not just small businesses — is facing a financial crisis in the form of a $9 billion, two-year revenue shortfall. Yet, city officials were still able find stimulus money for some, just not for everybody.
(H/T: The Post Millennial)