Do I need a comma before the quotation, or can I write without it? This is the sentence:

Someone, not so long ago said, “Simply put: If you’re doing business with the biggest companies in the world, you’re not just spending time in New York, London, and Hong Kong”


According to the Oxford Dictionary:

If direct speech comes after the information about who is speaking, you should use a comma to introduce the piece of speech, placed before the first inverted comma:

Steve replied, ‘No problem.’

So yes, you need a comma there.

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