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Rochester Chamber of Commerce leader supports move to limit workplace staffing

Mar 19, 2020

Credit Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce

The leader of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is supportive of moves being taken by Governor Andrew Cuomo to limit how many people can go to their places of employment.

Bob Duffy is the CEO and President of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and he also knows the governor pretty well. In his previous job, Duffy was Lieutenant Governor and became friends with Cuomo and he praises him for his handling of the state’s response to the coronavirus.

On Thursday, Cuomo issued an order requiring many businesses in the state to decrease their in-office workforce by 75 percent, to help try and stop the spread of the virus.

Duffy said many business owners he’s spoken with support these steps. But Duffy also realizes that many businesses will face a big economic impact from this virus.

“There’s no doubt that everybody is going to be taking a hit, economically, there’s not any area that’s going to escape the impact of this, but this most important thing is that we stay healthy and we stay alive, and we not add to the spread of this virus,” Duffy said.

The Rochester Chamber of Commerce held a video conference on Thursday with about 150 participants including Duffy, Congressman Joe Morelle and Monroe County Executive Adam Bello, as they took questions from those on the call. A recurring theme was the need to practice social distancing and get more people working from home.

It was also mentioned on the call that New York state has received a federal disaster declaration from the Small Business Administration, which will help small businesses and nonprofit organizations apply for disaster loans.

Morelle said that there is congressional action on bills that will extend paid family leave and extended unemployment benefits, and that more bills will be voted on in Congress in the next week or two.