We need the Bronx to bounce back.’ NY comptroller's report underscores pandemic's impact on the Bronx
A new report released on Tuesday shed some light on how hard the Bronx was hit by the pandemic and what it will take to help the borough make a comeback.
Bronx leaders met with New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli at the Gun Hill Brewing Company on Tuesday as he offered a sobering assessment of the pandemic’s impact on the borough.
“Prior to the pandemic, the Bronx was really on a roll in terms of population increase, job growth,” DiNapoli said. “Because the borough was hit so hard, with many people really suffering consequences of the disease, it really points to the need for there to be a particular focus as we deal with the recovery that the Bronx is not left behind.”
The comptroller says the economic report found that the Bronx had the highest hospitalization and death rates in the city.
He says it also found that population growth is down and unemployment is up from pre-pandemic levels, but there are some recent signs of recovery.
“We've actually seen in the Bronx a number of small businesses— small in that it’s five employees or less— starting up right now,” DiNapoli says. “I think that entrepreneur spirit that is often tied to an immigrant community is certainly an advantage.”
To continue the rebound, DiNapoli says the Bronx needs to increase its vaccination numbers, address food insecurity and provide rent relief.
“One-fifth of the city population resides in the Bronx, so if we want the city to bounce back, we need the Bronx to bounce back,” he says.
DiNapoli also reminds Bronx residents that there is more than $353 million in unclaimed funds across the borough and they should check if any amount belongs to them.