Not Even a Pandemic Can Break Rich Cities’ Grip on the U.S. Economy
The allure of expensive “superstar cities” will remain strong
Adam Fawer has seen the ups and downs of living and working in New York City. In the early ’90 and just out of college, he struggled to find work. A decade later, just three hours after he had quit his job to strike out on his own, two planes brought down the World Trade Center. Later, when it became clear there was no funding to be found in a post-9/11 New York, he shuttered the company.
Each period branded the city with deep economic pain, triggering massive job losses and the evisceration of small businesses. He remembers headlines blaring, “New York is over,” but that “every single time, we bounce back,” he said.
Now 49 and the chief operating officer of a health and fitness app, Noom, Fawer is trying to steer his company through the shocks of the coronavirus and ensuing recession. Operations shifted online and staff went remote in March. Business fell about 10 percent initially, he said, but swiftly picked up. He’s now adding staff, and expects the corporate head count will soon be double what it was in January.
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