We're sticking with New York


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We're sticking with New York

New York City Business
Image from Bloomberg

We have never believed in New York more than we do now. As business owners, founders, and entrepreneurs, we have no intention of leaving.

Despite some news outlets breathlessly writing about the supposed mass exodus to the suburbs, we still believe this city will continue to be the center of the universe and the country’s economic engine.

We couldn’t have built our businesses without this city. We doubt any other urban area––much less a suburb––would have provided the network necessary to find and foster the talent to succeed.

Indeed, simply living in the city can be fraught with risks and difficult decisions. People who live here are making a conscious decision to do so. They appreciate the challenge and the rewards that come from embracing such an energetic and hectic environment. That’s exactly the type of individual needed to build a business and break into industries that otherwise would be happy to maintain the status quo.

It’s why few other cities can support the different types of businesses we run––an artificial intelligence hiring platform and a legal translation service. Such innovative and different kinds of companies are rarely headquartered within a few blocks of each other.

Despite the city going through an excruciating period in its history, the indelible spirit that makes New York so special continues to encourage us.

We are witnessing this, in ways big and small, in the city's Covid-19 response. We have observed New Yorkers raising their masks to keep a passing stranger safe.

Likewise, we are encouraged that hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers already have heeded the call of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Department of Health by downloading the Covid Alert NY app to look out for neighbors and close contacts. We hope more residents will follow suit and take the simple step of adding the app to their phones––particularly with positivity rates once again rising and bringing the potential for mass closures of businesses.

That New York is among the leaders in testing is yet another testament to the city’s commitment to common sense and stopping the spread throughout the community.

Equally important, this spirit is seen in civic engagement.

First, during the height of the pandemic, New Yorkers of all stripes stood in solidarity for racial justice.

Second, New York exceeded other cities and even its pre-Covid-19 estimations for census response rates. Residents understood being counted was necessary to receive much-needed federal funding for the long-term health of our neighborhoods.

Third, we saw historic voter turnout, especially during the early voting period, in which New Yorkers waited in hours-long lines to make their voices heard. It’s now clear that New York City had historically high levels of turnout.

These acts may seem far removed from our companies’ missions and our efforts to grow. But they are part and parcel of why we believe being headquartered in New York––and staying here––is such an important business decision. We need co-workers and employees who are active in the community and who believe in something bigger than themselves.

The alternative? Passivity and small thinking––and they lead to failure. We don’t want that for the city or our companies.

New York’s recovery will be a grueling, multi-year effort. We recognize the two of us, much less the whole city, will not agree on every policy point. The process is too important and too complex for there to be unanimity.

But believing in New York and understanding we all want what’s best for the city are essential. That's a foundation and a good-faith agreement to pursue a shared goal––and that's far more than what we can say for our national politics and culture.

Frida Polli is co-founder and CEO of Pymetrics. Phil Shawe is the founder and CEO of Transperfect.

 

Original Article:
https://www.crainsnewyork.com/op-ed/were-sticking-new-york
13 NOV. 2020

 
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