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A Reflection from Karp Strategies Managing Principal & CEO, Rebecca Karp

It feels trite to write that we are experiencing unprecedented times - but there is little other way to describe where we are. The COVID-19 outbreak is shaking society to its core. While we are all feeling the pandemic’s impacts, we each experience them differently: millions are out of work, while others adapt to working remotely. Many are figuring out how to homeschool their children, while others are not able to do so, lacking technology or working in essential industries. We are also seeing already profound racial and socioeconomic inequality exacerbated. As individuals, many of us in NYC know someone who is afflicted with COVID-19, without understanding the full impacts of what it means to be sick. Across the country, many are questioning why the economy even needs to be on pause, as the effects of COVID-19 have not reached other areas as quickly as has the economic devastation of the shutdown.

In the business community, the impacts are also wide-ranging, and for many, devastating. Retail operations and service businesses have been particularly hard hit; in NYC, we see this when we walk down a street that just a few weeks ago was packed with people. My business is still figuring out what the pandemic means for us. As the CEO and owner of Karp Strategies - a community economic development, urban planning, and real estate advisory firm - I wear two hats: I provide guidance to our clients and partners, and I own and run the business. I switch between these hats on a daily basis.

As a consultant, this means continuing to advise and support cities, developers, private companies, and non-profits on how to move their projects forward, and more often, how to do so with equity, safety, and business continuity at the fore. In real time, we are advising our clients and partners to participate in and support many of the same programs and practices that Karp Strategies is participating in as a small business.

As a CEO and business owner, it means taking care of the company, applying for any relevant support programs, and working on our business continuity plans.

I am just one member of the Karp Strategies team - all of whom also continue to wear these hats to different extents, and all of whom continue to show up for each other, for our clients, and for our partners. Especially in these strange times, Karp Strategies will continue to hold true to our mission of building stronger communities, thriving and inclusive economies, and amazing public realms. We will continue to share helpful resources with anyone who asks us. And, we will continue to apply our ethos of inclusive development to recovery and response efforts, advocating and doing all we can to ensure access to economic opportunity, and support for the City and communities as we work together to stay safe and healthy. We humbly offer our gratitude to the thousands of healthcare, transit, government, grocery, delivery, and other workers who ensure that the rest of us continue to receive critical services or do our jobs.

If there is anything that Karp Strategies or I personally can do to support you or your organization, please reach out. We are here in partnership, having worked either in house or as consultants during and after Hurricane Sandy, the recession, and other disasters of all scales. We are also here, quite simply, as friends, to listen in solidarity. We are standing by.

In partnership,


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