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Report calls on business community to help lead New York City out of COVID-19 economic crisis

The island of Manhattan seen from the air.

(The Center Square) – With New York’s leaders searching for ways to guide the city out of the COVID-19 economic downturn, a new economic outlook report presses the concept of further public-private partnership.

The Partnership for New York City’s report, “A Call for Action and Collaboration,” which includes input from a variety of stakeholders and 14 global consulting firms, was released earlier this month, Politico reported.

With unemployment at more than 18 percent, roughly one-third of the city’s 230,000 small businesses unlikely to reopen, and most of the city’s cultural attractions closed until next year, a diverse collaboration is necessary to reopen the economy, the report states.

“Going forward, governments will need to spend less and depend more on leveraging private financing and expertise,” the report states. “Economic recovery requires a multi-sector approach, with leadership from business, labor, academia, civic and community sectors. Extra-governmental partnerships should be structured to design and implement solutions to immediate needs for job training, hiring, small business relief, affordable housing, renewable energy and digital infrastructure.”

One past model is the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), which was created after 9/11.

Pursuant to the report’s findings, the partnership is ready to commit leadership to address six key areas:

• Small Business Restart & Recovery Clearinghouse, co-sponsored with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, chambers of commerce and other stakeholders to develop a resource network to aid small business with capital access, marketing, and technology.

• Health Innovation Partnership to create a consensus on standards and other trust markers to restore public confidence in the health and safety of offices, transit, and public gathering places, while promoting the region as a leading hub of telemedicine and medicine.

• Education Innovation Partnership to support the transition of public schools to a model of in-person instruction and online learning, helping make New York into a global hub for education technology.

• A job council comprised of large employers to collaborate with public schools and colleges to develop pathways to careers.

• Cross-sectoral problem-solving sessions among leaders to find consensus on such issues as security, transit, criminal and racial justice, community development, and regulatory and tax reform.

“The COVID-19 crisis is unique unto itself and it poses challenges we haven’t seen before,” attorney Martin Lipton told the Partnership. “But New York suffered a similar downturn in the 1970s. The city was broke, crime was rampant, people fled. Strong cross-sector leadership got us out of that crisis and it is what will be needed this time as well.”

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