Wednesday, March 25, 2020

A message from Russ & Daughters, whose Houston Street shop remains open

[Photo yesterday by Derek Berg]

Russ & Daughters posted this on Instagram yesterday:

Save Small Business & Small Business Workers. This past week, we had to lay off almost half of our staff and close our two restaurants. As terrible as this has been, we are consoled in knowing that Russ & Daughters will survive and we will bring our folks back as soon as we can.

We have 106 years of perseverance behind us. Russ & Daughters has weathered the 1918 influenza pandemic, wars, depressions, recessions, terrorist attacks and hurricanes. We are grateful that we can continue to make and ship our food out all over the country, providing the essential service of, literally and figuratively, nourishing our customers while everyone stays at home.

This crisis affects us all, but it does not affect us all equally. We must recognize this and help those who are truly struggling. For those of us who still have jobs, we don’t need a check. It’s the people suddenly left without a job who need a check — not a one-time thing, but an every-week thing. State unemployment funds, not large corporations, are what need the stimulus.

We call on our government to make unemployment programs more accessible, expansive and generous. Bolster payments so that they approximate people’s wages. The maximum unemployment benefit in New York State in $504/week. You cannot shelter in place if you cannot pay for that shelter or feed your family. As a small business, we have made unemployment contributions week after week, year after year. Now is the time for those contributions to be paid out and pay out well.

We call on our government to recognize small business for what we are: the lifeblood of our country’s economy. Small businesses generate almost half of all the economic activity in the U.S. We are #toosmalltofail because we are too important. Money that goes to a small business stays within the local community. The same cannot be said for large corporations or chains. Give us the ability to keep our communities going, because that’s all we want to do.

We urge you to call Congress too. — Niki Russ Federman & Josh Russ Tupper, 4th Generation Owners of Russ & Daughters

While Russ & Daughters Cafe, Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum and Russ & Daughters Brooklyn are closed, the original shop on Houston Street is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. They ask that you please call (212-475-4880 x1) 24 hours in advance for pickup, delivery or shipping. For people dropping by: "To prevent crowding, we’ll allow only a few customers in at a time. Once you take your number, please wait outside until just before your number is called."

They are also shipping nationwide.


BagelGuy said...

PERFECTLY STATED. Thank you for this. We at Tompkins Square Bagels feel exactly the same. We've gone from 45 employees to 13 in the blink of an eye. These are folks with families feed. Single dads. Single moms. These are people who have paid their taxes dutifully for years. It's time for the government to do the right thing for once.

Anonymous said...

How come a business that has been around for so long and most likely so profitable (basing it on the lines I always see) that it can't float paying employees during these times? Am I wrong?