New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is begging companies to stop remote work and return to their New York City offices in order to support the local businesses that have suffered under his long and devastating shutdowns.
Cuomo said that while remote work, and even remote learning, were fine for a short amount of time, now is the time for residents to return in-person activities. He is hopeful office workers will be back by Labor Day.
"Remember, we have to get people back and we have to get people back in volume. If you were to see a 15% decline of people coming back to New York City, that would have a devastating impact on the commercial market," said Cuomo.
"We need people coming back. Say to your workforce, 'By Labor Day, everyone is back in the office,'" Cuomo instructed.
"We need that volume to support the restaurants and the shops, the services. It's not just about your business. It's about all the spinoff effect economic activity that your workers bring to the surrounding community," the governor added.
Fox News reports that the news comes after New York City had been through long lockdowns, which included school closures and indoor dining being banned for around 250 days. The restaurant shutdowns came despite them being the source of only 1.43 percent of COVID-19 cases in the state.
The closures did, however, impact many businesses that had been opened for decades or even centuries to close. This includes the renowned 21 Club, which shut down following the December lockdown announcement.
Cuomo's lockdowns were slammed by many, including the New York City Hospitality Alliance, which said in a press statement at the time: "Closing indoor dining in New York City will severely jeopardize the survival of countless small businesses and jobs and now it's more important than ever that all levels of government pass critical support to help save the industry."
Cuomo however eventually changed course when it came to his state's response to COVID-19, and began reopening up the state with capacity restrictions.