New York businesses are now following New Yorkers, moving to Florida in droves amid New York’s continued coronavirus lockdowns and a declining state economy, according to the New York Post.
“Two weeks ago, when the thermometer plunged below 20 and indoor dining was still off-limits in the city, intrepid New Yorkers continued to cling to vestiges of their social lives,” the outlet noted Sunday. “But just a short flight away — in tony Palm Beach, Fla., where La Goulue recently opened an outpost that’s a mirror image of its Manhattan mother ship — all inside tables and seats at the bar are full. Patrons are laughing and living it up, seemingly oblivious to the perils of fraternizing during a pandemic.”
In fact, the Post notes, dozens of New York City restaurants have suddenly opened Palm Beach outposts, “escaping” the icy weather and severe COVID-19 restrictions, following the New York City residents who left the city in droves during the height of the pandemic — and the ensuing economic downturn.
“[Palm Beach] is really working with you, not trying to put wood in your wheels,’’ one restaurant owner told the Post, adding that, in New York City, dining has just opened to 25% capacity. “I have seen so many friends of mine, I can’t believe it. And all our New York staff is asking to come work here.’’
Back in December, the Daily Mail reported that families, especially, are relocating to the Sunshine State, following better weather and, it seems, more competent crisis management.
“Palm Beach, Florida, has been a popular destination for New Yorkers looking to escape the danger of COVID-19 in the spring and the civil unrest of the summer,” the outlet reported. “Many of those moving to Florida are young families no longer interested in the complications of living in New York City at such a perilous time. Bloomberg acquired a letter from a Sotheby’s realtor to clients, claiming the median age is ‘dropping faster than SpaghettiOs from a toddler’s high chair.'”
They’re also following jobs. The Insider reports that major financial firms that once called Wall Street home are now setting up shop in and near Miami.
“About 30 major financial firms are ‘kicking the tires’ in South Florida, said Kelly Smallridge, who runs an economic development agency in Palm Beach County. A handful of them are serious about shifting staff there,” the Insider says. “Companies including Elliott Management, Citadel, and Moelis are among the latest to say they will open satellite offices there or allow their moneymakers to be based in Florida, executives have said.”
That is likely to be a major issue for New York, which “posted the biggest population decline of any [state] in the US, putting it on track for its first population fall of any decade since the 1970s,” according to the BBC.
Those taking part in the exodus mostly gave financial reasons for their moves, but recent news seems to indicate that New York’s state government is also suffering from a crisis of confidence. Just last week, Andrew Cuomo’s administration admitted that they hid thousands of nursing home COVID-19 deaths from the state’s official numbers, fearing a federal investigation. The news prompted New Yorkers to call for Cuomo’s resignation and sparked rumors of a recall effort similar to the one taking shape against Gov. Gavin Newsom in California.
For now, though, New Yorkers are simply enjoying the change of scenery.
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