It's better to ask for forgiveness...
Despite the enormity of the COVID-19 crisis in NYC, the solution to preserve social gathering spaces is relatively simple:
provide forgivable rent relief without any strings attached until we are permitted to operate without restrictions.
Presumably, this relief can be established in two manners:
1) Direct grant package from the Federal Government provided to affected businesses for rent expenses either through amended PPP or new program.
2) NY State mandated rent and mortgage moratorium on impacted spaces, similar to Senate Bill S8125A / S8139 . This would shift the burden of the financial loss away from our city and state to the large lending institutions, who could simply absorb the loss on their balance sheets, refinance with cheap money from the Federal Reserve, or lobby for a Federal bailout.