NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Nearly 200 business leaders across New York City sent a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday to urge them to come up with an organized plan to reopen the economy.
The CEOs of MasterCard, Macy’s, JetBlue and even the president of the New York Stock Exchange were among the 177 names signed on the letter, which notes they have the resources available to reopen the economy, but they need leadership.
“New York City has business expertise, academics in all areas, we've got cultural institutions, we've got human service, community service providers,” explains Kathryn Wylde, of Partnership for NYC.
She says those services are not being utilized and stresses that experts project a loss of $150 billion in economic output with over 700,000 people out of work.
“Right now, the mayor is focused on the schools – and, as we know, that’s been a very difficult and challenging effort. The governor is still focused on keeping us healthy,” Wylde said. “The question is: How can we support them in now moving to reopen the economy?”
She says a large part of the effort has to focus on low-income areas.
“The impact is felt most profoundly in our neighborhoods that were least prepared to absorb it,” she said.
Wylde acknowledges that support from the federal government is important but, “money is not the only answer.”
“We have to be organized. We have to be creative. We have to call upon the resources of the whole city,” she said.
The letter also asks for the creation of a leadership group to streamline priorities, like getting schools back open, support for mass transit and keeping the city clean.
Mayor de Blasio responded to the letter last week, when 150 names had signed on, saying, “We’re grateful for our business community and are partnering to rebuild a fairer, better city.”