Bob Duffy, the president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is pleased about the lifting of micro-cluster zone restrictions in most of New York state. Governor Andrew Cuomo made that announcement Wednesday, citing the recent declines in the COVID-19 infection rate statewide.
But Duffy cautioned there is still a ways to go in getting back to the kind of environment many small businesses are looking for.
Duffy also heads up the governor's Finger Lakes advisory group on the COVID-19 reopening, and he is supportive of the move Cuomo made to lift the micro-cluster, orange and yellow zones that had impacted a lot of local businesses like restaurants and gyms.
But as Duffy noted, the previous statewide restrictions are still in place which also affect capacity in terms of the number of customers allowed inside those businesses.
“We’re on a journey, and it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint, so we’re going to end up, probably for several months going through steps along the way, but I think today what it does do is it really reinforces, it builds maybe a much more positive spirit that we’re getting back to some sense of normalcy. We’re not there yet.”
Duffy also made a plea for more government help for small and medium sized businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic.
“Everybody in America does not need a stimulus check, I’m sorry. Those that need it the most should get more. Those that have been decimated in their businesses, those that are out of work, those that have maybe, been on the edge of bankruptcy, I think we need to look at trying to make sure you put the money where it’s needed and it has to be a long term investment,” Duffy said.