Yearning for Normalcy

Central New York business sectors gearing up for what is hoped to be successful recovery year By Lou Sorendo Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO COVID-19 does not discriminate when it comes to impacting economic sectors. As of last October, all private sectors of the Central New York economy were negatively impacted by COVID-19, according to Robert Simpson, president and CEO of CenterState CEO in Syracuse. CenterState CEO is an independent economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce. In terms of employment loss, Simpson said even the least impacted sectors suffered losses over the past year, when in recent years the region has experienced job expansions. “Services, particularly accommodations, food services and hospitality have been most severely impacted, followed by retail trade and then professional and business services,” he said. In 2020, these sectors experienced employment losses of between 16% and 20% compared to 2019. Overall private employment is down by about 10%, with health care and educational services faring somewhat better (-8.7% and -9.7%, respectively) and manufacturing and construction faring somewhat worse (-10.8% and -11.9%, respectively). COVID-19 has indeed changed the landscape of the CNY business world. Since last spring, CenterState CEO has advocated

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