Business Group Calls On New York Officials To Accelerate Upstate Reopening

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ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – An upstate business organization is calling on state officials to accelerate plans for reopening some businesses where appropriate.

Unshackle Upstate says that as state officials begin the task of restarting the economy, it is critical that they engage upstate business leaders in the process.

Executive Director for the group, Michael Kracker, says that public health has to be the primary factor. But he says when the state does consider reopening, he hopes it’s a regional approach, so that areas that not have been as hard hit as the New York City area, can reopen more quickly.

“We need to be, I think, taking a look at the data, and working with not only the health professionals, but also the business community to responsibly begin to open the economy in upstate New York. The unemployment numbers are through the roof, businesses are concerned that they might not survive coming out of this. So the sooner we can responsibly open the economy, the better,” Kracker says.

The President and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, Bob Duffy, believes that Governor Andrew Cuomo and his administration are aligned with that philosophy. Duffy notes that there have been ongoing adjustments in what the state considers “essential businesses.”

“And I do believe you’re seeing in the coming days and the next couple of weeks, step by step, more of these openings coming; the governor wants it to happen, we want it to happen, but we all want it to happen safely, and the worse thing we could do right now is hurry, or do it haphazardly and have this infection grow,” Duffy says.

Cuomo said over the weekend that a regional approach within the state is something officials may be looking at, but he also indicated the state is not at the point yet where it can start to consider reopening businesses.