An important reminder that many cities depend on colleges and universities as a vital part of their economy.

CNBC reports:

Mayor sees ‘cataclysmic trouble’ if Cornell and Ithaca College do not reopen campuses this fall

The mayor of Ithaca, New York, told CNBC on Monday that the city’s economy faces dire consequences if local colleges do not hold in-person classes this autumn due to the coronavirus.

“If the students don’t come back in the fall, we’re in real cataclysmic trouble,” Svante Myrick said on “Squawk on the Street.”

Ithaca is home to Cornell University and Ithaca College. Cornell, an Ivy League institution, has more than 20,000 students while Ithaca College has about 6,700.

Myrick’s comments came as Ithaca College announced Monday that it plans to hold in-person instruction this fall, with the autumn semester now slated to begin Oct. 5 — more than a month later than originally scheduled.

Colleges and universities across the U.S. are planning for how, or whether, they can safely welcome students back to campus in the fall. The decision has implications for students and staff, as well as for the financial outlook for schools.

But as Myrick’s comments illustrate, the cities and communities in which schools are located also are impacted by decisions on reopening campuses. College students play a vital role in the economy of Ithaca, a city of about 30,000 residents, Myrick said.

“It’s not just pizza shops and it’s not just bars. It’s not just restaurants. It’s barbershops. It’s nail salons. It’s accountants. It’s law firms,” he said. “The ripple effects of all of our students staying home and not coming back to campus, would be crippling.”


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