Members of the BCW’s Westchester Economic Recovery Task Force held a webinar with members on Wednesday to review some of the recommendations it made in a 14-page report delivered to Governor Andrew Cuomo and County Executive George Latimer.
The report contained the first in a series of recommendations presented to leaders as they work toward reopening our economy following the devastation created by COVID-19.
“Thank you to every single task force member representing all of our robust industries and companies and organizations across this great county. We are so incredibly thankful and grateful for the time and attention you’ve paid to this effort, and for so generously sharing your creativity and your sensitivity, as we navigate the challenges of reopening Westchester and to make sure that at every step that we have taken those steps to protect our employees, our customers and the communities that we serve,’’ said Heidi Davidson of Galvanize Worldwide, Chairman of the BCW Board of Directors.
The BCW’s Economic Recovery Task Force consists of 46 business leaders from the private and public sectors including Arts, Biotech, Energy/Environment; Entertainment, Hospitality, Transportation, Finance, Healthcare, Higher Education, Municipalities, Not-for-Profits, Professional Services, Real Estate Brokerage and Construction, Retail and Small Business. The Task Force members were asked to submit key issues that their respective industry will need to address during the reemergence process.
“We are just in phase one of the reemergence and obviously phase two will be coming very quickly, and we have to get ready for the final two phases,’’ said John Ravitz, BCW Vice President and COO. “We asked our task force members to drill down on some of the things they felt were imperative and needed to be addressed as they began the reemergence. Many of those issues you’ll hear about today, as well as, will be able to see in our report.’’
Howard Stein of the Small Business Development Center said small businesses would need financial assistance to help bear the additional costs of PPE, office upgrades and training to help employees follow health and safety guidelines.
“They requested disaster training advisors to help them navigate the CDC requirements. They also required a lot of the products that are necessary: open signage, the washing stations the disinfectants, all this is very expensive. So, they really need access to these products at low or no cost,’’ Stein said.
Richard Haggerty of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors, representing real estate sector, said many realtors were disappointed they could not begin in person showings during phase one, but are ready with phase two beginning next week.
“I think, quite frankly, there’s going to be a pretty big pressure valve that will be released with a lot of buyers who want to start sooner. We didn’t get phase one in person showings that we were looking for, but we do think that we’ll be able to start with phase, two hopefully by next week,’’ said Haggerty.
Also presenting were Bud Wiesenberg from CBRE on commercial real estate; Joe McCoy on financial/professional services, Ed Stopplemann from Red Oak Transportation on transportation and hospitality; Susan Fox, President and CEO of WIHD, and co-chair of the BCW’s not-for-profit task force, on the not-for-profit sector, Marvin Krislov, President of Pace University, on higher education and Jeff Hayden, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, on the arts sector.
Click here to view the entire webinar. Click here to see recommendations.