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 clien