Westchester County Executive George Latimer announced on June 1st, the formation of the Westchester County Reopening Task Force – a group charged with working to find solutions to advance the interests of local businesses in a post-coronavirus economy.
Latimer said: “What we have here is a group of individuals who have served in a variety of capacities, to serve in this particular capacity, to help organize our efforts to reach out to the businesses of Westchester County and do everything we can to help them reopen as fast as possible and as successfully as possible.” This task force will provide guidance to the County as it works through the four phases of reopening and help ensure that businesses in each phase have what they need to reopen safely and successfully.
The task force is co-chaired by Westchester County Legislator Catherine Parker, a former small business owner and past President, Rye Chamber of Commerce, and Louis Lanza, a restaurateur with businesses in Westchester County. Both bring deep expertise and broad connections which will enable the task force to maximize its impact.
Parker said: “I see this reopening task force as a unified voice for all different sectors of business in Westchester County with the ‘rock stars’ of those sectors. This will be a way to get Westchester back to where we were – and even better than before.”
Lanza said: “Restaurants are working ahead of the curve in getting ready everything they will need to do to open. We can do this safely. There are safe ways of running our businesses and once we get the go ahead, we can safely reopen and serve our customers.”
Westchester County Board of Legislators Chairman Ben Boykin said: “This is an important challenge. We are in a place we have never been before and we must reopen in a more vibrant and smarter way so businesses can survive, grow and move to the next level.”
The task force will play a significant role in communicating out to the business and nonprofit communities, their colleagues and the organizations that they lead about guidelines and best practices as our region enters each stage of phased reopening. The task force will also establish working groups that will focus on each critical area such as health care, labor, hospitality, general business, etc. These working groups will allow for all Westchester business owners to have an opportunity to give input.
The Reopening Task Force anticipates meeting virtually going forward via Webex.