COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. --- Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul was in Cooperstown on Monday for a roundtable discussion on how to increase tourism and support local businesses across the area.
The discussion was held at the Baseball Hall of Fame.
This comes after the village announced it had lost around 150 million dollars in revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Village and county representatives including Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh were there to voice their concerns.
During the discussion, Hochul praised New York State for keeping the infection rate as low as it is. Announcing New York is one of the safest places to be in the country. While that may be good news to health officials, she added some businesses that rely on tourism are struggling.
"It's important to know that there are a lot of small businesses that are hanging on by a thread. What I wanna do is just remind people that they're a character and charm of downtown that can be gone like that," said Hochul.
Some businesses that rely on tourism said the travel advisories are preventing people from coming to the village. At the moment, New York State has issued travel advisories for 35 states across the country.
"It seems right now that we've excluded some 40 states visitors from those states to be able to come here. That's very concerning. How legitimate are these quarantines that they need to take place," said Mickey's owner Vincent Ross.
NEWSCHannel2 voiced these concerns to the Lieutenant Governor that responded, with;
"When there is a global pandemic, it is not the time to travel to other states. It is an opportunity for New Yorkers who have may have had vacations planned elsewhere. I'm not visiting my children that live in a different state, I'm not going there, I'm coming to Cooperstown. I know it's hard for businesses that are relying on out-of-state tourism. But there are 19 million New Yorkers. Let's market to them, let's encourage them to stay home, the lines are not there, you can get reservations at hotels, and it's a magnificent place to visit," said Hochul.