The Business Council of Westchester hosted a virtual town hall May 13 to prepare local businesses to reopen as New York begins to restart the economy following the coronavirus pandemic. More than 150 business leaders across the county attended remotely to share their inquiries, concerns, and suggestions.
The group of business and not-for-profit leaders expressed concerns about health, safety, and liability; questions on how and why the state’s phased plan for reopening would affect different sectors; and suggestions for how the government could help them restart their businesses. The BCW Westchester Economic Recovery Task force listened to these questions and recommendations to help inform their forthcoming strategic recovery plan that will be presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Attendees represented industries ranging from tourism to construction, to insurance. The President and CEO of the Business Council of Westchester, Marsha Gordon, was excited by the turn out of the 60-minute meeting.
“We were very encouraged by the large numbers of business leaders who participated today, and by the thoughtful and substantive suggestions that were made,” she says.
Of these recommendations, Ben Palancia of Palancia Insurance suggested that the government enact liability protections for businesses that might be at risk of lawsuit if patrons become ill. General Manager of Cambria Suites Hotels, Sean Meade, says the state has to “instill consumer confidence and get people to start travelling.”
Michael Murphy of Murphy Bros. Contracting says that private construction, as one of the industries that will be first to reopen when Westchester meets the criteria to begin Governor Cuomo’s Phase I economic plan, projects can be done safely.
“We are confident that the impressive group of leaders we have brought together can and will provide the wisdom, insight and creative thinking to enable the creation of constructive and practical plans for moving forward,” Gordon says.