NEW YORK, December 16, 2020 – New York City will need the resources and support of her corporate citizens in order to fully and equitably recover from the COVID-19, especially with city and state government budgets being so tight right now. This was among the takeaways of a virtual roundtable discussion about Corporate Social Responsibility during the City & State New York Responsible 100 Luncheon.
“It will take months before the effects are fully apparent and life and business completely opens up again,” said moderator Sheryl Huggins Salomon, Chief Communications Officer for the McSilver Institute. “Nearly one-third of small businesses closed this year in the metro area. As of late October, more than a million New Yorkers were out of work. Our unemployment rate is double the national average, and the pain is felt unevenly. According to a report by the Comptroller’s office, nearly one in four New Yorkers of color wound up losing their jobs—about 10 percentage points higher than what white New Yorkers experienced.”
For the most part, businesses have wanted to do the right thing, said Carmelyn Malalis, Commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights. “People understand that the laws and obligations that we have here in New York City, because they are some of the most protective in this country, that also means there are heightened obligations [for] housing providers and employers and businesses.” When the city went into shelter-in-place mode during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, she said the questions her office received from businesses included, “‘How should we be supporting our employees? What should we be doing? How can we be affirmatively acting in a thoughtful, compassionate and responsible way with them?'”
In addition to McSilver CCO Salomon and Commissioner Malalis, the roundtable included:
- Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
- Gilda Doria, Corporate Social Responsibility lead for IBM
- Peta-Gay Clarke, Diversity Manager for Google, Inc.
The virtual luncheon kicked off with remarks by National Action Network president and founder Reverend Al Sharpton. Recognition was given to the Responsible 100, noted figures from New York’s business, nonprofit and academic communities involved in the Corporate Social Responsibility movement.
Watch the program in the video above or at City & State New York.