Category Archives: Economy

Reopening of New York

The reopening of New York – something so many wanted for so long – has been met with an interesting response. People are shocked, surprised and a bit daunted by what is happening as so many people had gotten used to their “new normal.” Plus, the fact that restaurants, bars and offices are opening at 100% capacity have led to questions from many people wondering what crowds will feel like again after so much time being told to social distance.

It is not the entire New York that is reopening. Most theaters will be closed until at least September 2021. Office workers still tend to be working from home with a low number going back (approximately 16 percent, up from last summer’s 10 percent but still on the small side). One New Yorker, Michael Cortez (who like others believe the speed is “reckless”) said: “I think this is just a knee-jerk reaction to what’s going on in all the politics with Cuomo and everybody else. It’s crazy. And then we all ended up paying for it down the road. What’s the end game?”

He could be right.  But Cuomo pointed to the “statewide rolling positivity rate…of 1.79 percent, the lowest since November 5 and a 50 percent drop over the last month,” which would make sense for a re-opening.

De Blasio said that by July 1st, New York City will “fully reopen,” having vaccinated “a large percentage of its 8 million residents.”

Additional Small Business Relief Plans

The businesses that were not ultimately eligible for the COVID-19 relief programs offered by federal governments until now, should now apply for the New York Forward Loan Fund.

This regional state program – valued at $100 million – is geared for the small businesses owned by minority groups and women.  These businesses will have up to 20 full-time workers.  In addition, property owners with up to 200 rented units who have not been paid during this time will be eligible for assistance from the program.

While the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) was a nice gesture it has come under substantial attack for being unrealistic. Loans have to be paid back within five years.  Given that unemployment figures jumped to 14.5% in New York last month, there are many individuals who need the money without having the stress of paying it back.

New York Advisors and Coronavirus Crisis Management

Over the last few weeks, individuals, families and companies have found themselves in unprecedented situations as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic.  Consequently service providers in all industries are seeking out new ways to help their clients.  

In this article local fiscal advisor Michelle Smith Source Financial talks about what she has seen and how she is responding to her clients.  We also look at a group in the educational and artistic industry and their experience.

CEO of Source Financial Advisors Michelle Smith explained that she has been dealing with the shame some of her clients are encountering.  She said:

“Ten percent of my client base legitimately realized their risk appetite is not what they thought it was. I am counseling those people not to be ashamed of that. Just because you cannot tolerate volatility to this degree is nothing to be ashamed of. Half of my clients are also ‘newer’ investors as they are divorced women who are newly in control of their money so this is the first crash they have experienced. In fact, the opposite is true. Your money should not keep you up at a night. If it is, something is wrong and needs to be corrected. This health crisis combined with the economic avalanche shortly behind it hit people’s primal fears of dying alone without money. I am meeting all clients ‘where they are’ and not throwing a bunch of historical data at them to convince them otherwise.”

A few weeks ago, a group of scientists, musicians and comedians performed a show called, “Asians Strike Back: A Coronavirus Comedy and Science Show,” expressing their attempt to help the public through both education and humor. This is their attempt to    “fight back” against COVID-19 .  

When there is so much uncertainty in the world, experts in all fields often have something to offer.  Be it financial planning, laughter or just listening, they are all valid approaches.

Fifth Avenue Fame

5th Avenue in Park Slope was just recognized for its incredible contribution to the world of shopping.  The question really that should be asked however, is, is it really any surprise?  with its wide array of offerings from sex stores to superhero supply companies; community bookstore and women’s fashion, it makes sense that it was recently lauded for being “one of the country’s best small business shopping districts.”

What do the vendors in the area put this down to?  Mom and Pop stores which foster relationships.  One example where this is key on 5th Avenue is the Good Wine shop.  According to Heather Johnston, vlogger with So Good: Food and Wine it’s a family affair with the kids sitting around and drawing, and the parents shopping; something they all love.

One small business owner, Sam Tse added:

“I think the dynamics of the neighborhood are changing right now, and in order to keep us here, everyone should support our small businesses. Because otherwise, we are going to get replaced by the more commercial stores, and you’re not going to see small businesses around anymore.”

UK-US International Trade Day

Hosted by Her Majesty, Dr. Liam Fox, the UK-US International Trade Day took place earlier this week, 22 October on the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth HMS. A few days before the event, “US Treasury Secretary, Robert Lighthizer, announced that the US intends to begin negotiations towards a UK-US Free Trade Agreement after the UK leaves the European Union.”

At the event, the Department for International Trade (DIT) set up a roundtable giving a various top cyber companies from the UK (including: Garrison, iProov and Tessian) an opportunity to present their technology and software to US Fortune 500 companies.  The goal of this is to create new deals.

The event was exceedingly important for both countries, as Dr. Fox explained:

“The United States is one of our closest allies, our largest single bilateral trading partner and we will see that bond continue to strengthen as we leave the European Union. This ‘trade day’ will see some of the UK’s most innovative businesses meeting their US counterparts as we continue to combat growing overseas cyber threats together. My international economic department is currently consulting on the potential of a future free trade agreement with the US, and I would strongly encourage British businesses and the public to make the most of this opportunity to share their thoughts on what this deal should include.”

Another goal of the event was to work together to fight against international cyber attacks.


Can You Afford to Live in NYC?

A recent report from SmartAsset showed that those living in a 2 bedroom New York apartment need to make $164,614 per annum.  Median Manhattan rentals are $3,450 and the median cost of buying is $1,315,700.  While that figure has dropped 1.0 percent in the last year it is estimated that it will increase 2.5% within the following year.

So it’s not cheap to live in New York.  However, jobs in the city are generally high paying.  Indeed, according to recent analysis from Ladders, New York has the second highest number of six figure jobs.  As well, companies around the world offer high salaries to people who will work for them and live in New York.

So can someone like 32 year old Alicia Kennedy — a freelancer NYC food blogger — make it in NYC?  Three years ago when she first went freelance (having left a steady copy editor position at New York Magazine), the $5,000 tax bill was quite a surprise.  She’d miscalculated at $3,000.  Anyway this is how she makes it.  She spends:

  1. $1,000 on rent
  2. $1,000 on food (don’t forget she’s a food blogger)
  3. $250 monthly student loan repayments
  4. $150 on phone
  5. $15 on gym
  6. $150 in a monthly savings account.
  7. $200 miscellaneous (incl. transportation, charitable donations, credit card, leisure).

So Alicia is successfully living in NYC even though she’s far from a six figure salary!