Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.
  • An ‘I Love NY’ Campaign for New Yorkers: Why NYC’s Recovery Will be a Team Effort

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New York City is reopening, but the recovery will not be like turning on a light switch.

    Despite large swaths of the economy given a green light to reopen, including sports, entertainment, culture and hospitality, there’s still much to learn about what the post-pandemic economy will look like.

    The Center for an Urban Future, a non-partisan think tank that promotes local economic mobility, found technology jobs make up 40.1 percent of available positions in the city that pay more than $80,000 a year, doubling open jobs in New York’s financial industry.

    “I fear the most for the lower wage workforce in New York City – many of whom are already disproportionately hurt because of the pandemic – people in restaurants, retail, nail salons, child care,” said Executive Director Jonathan Bowles on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    “A lot of them may be hurt by these structural issues like remote work,” he acknowledged.

    Bowles also pointed out business travel may continue to suffer due to the convenience of remote meetings. That could hurt the hospitality sector as many businessmen and women patronize local establishments and attend Broadway shows when they’re in town.

    That’s why he believes it will be up to New Yorkers to participate in their own city’s recovery by shopping local.

    “New Yorkers have got to take on some of this responsibility,” Bowles told Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso.

    He proposed an “I Love NY” campaign marketed towards New Yorkers rather than tourists to stir up Big Apple pride that has been a hallmark of the city’s resiliency and bravado through past crises.

    “After 9/11, it almost felt like almost like a patriotic duty to go out and see a Broadway show. We got to make it like it’s a patriotic duty again to go out and support our small businesses more than before, because otherwise, a lot of them just aren’t going to hang on,” said Bowles.

    The local business leader believes in New York’s recovery and sees the technology and healthcare industries growing as well as a variety of traditional hospitality businesses in the outer boroughs.

    “We did a little analysis of new business formation in Brooklyn and found a significant increase,” he said. “Even compared to the months prior to the pandemic, new businesses are being formed and a lot of those are retail and restaurant businesses.”

    Bowles calls that “encouraging” and believes foot traffic in those neighborhoods will remain elevated as a percentage of people will not return to city offices full-time. They’ll likely spend more money in their own communities.

    That also means businesses will have to reinvent themselves and figure out ways to grow profit margins through parallel services.

    See what it will take to get New York City moving again and the new types of businesses that are thriving on the 200th Small Business Spotlight episode above.

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