As New York continues to grapple with the pandemic’s health and economic fallout, it’s a pivotal moment for Big Apple businesses. Now a group of 150 top execs from powerhouse companies are calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio to take immediate action to help New York get back on track.
“Despite [the city’s] success in containing the coronavirus, unprecedented numbers of New Yorkers are unemployed, facing homelessness, or otherwise at risk. There is widespread anxiety over public safety, cleanliness and other quality of life issues that are contributing to deteriorating conditions in commercial districts and neighborhoods across the five boroughs,” the business leaders — who hail from diverse industries across the city — wrote in a letter to the mayor released late today.
Fashion, retail and sports executives involved include Jeff Gennette, chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc., Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, Catherine Engelbert, commissioner of the WNBA and Warby Parker co-founders and co-CEOs Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa. CEOs from Jet Blue and Goldman Sachs were among the other influential players who helped pen the letter.
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“As employers who are committed to New York City and its re-emergence from the devastating health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are confident that New York can and shall remain a thriving global center of commerce, innovation and opportunity,” the letter said.
The execs also emphasized that “strong, consistent messaging” is key to ensuring employees, customers and tourists feel comfortable working, living and visiting the city. “People will be slow to return unless their concerns about security and the livability of our communities are addressed quickly and with respect and fairness for our city’s diverse populations,” the leaders warned. “We urge you to take immediate action to restore essential services as a necessary precursor for solving the city’s longer term, complex, economic challenges.”
De Blasio responded on twitter this evening. “We’re grateful for our business community and are partnering to rebuild a fairer, better city. Let’s be clear: To restore city services and save jobs, we need long term borrowing and a federal stimulus — we need these leaders to join the fight to move the city forward,” he wrote.