SEEC’S COVID-19 RESPONSE:
SEEC’S COVID-19 RESPONSE:
In the very early stages of the COVID-19 crisis, SEEC, Schoharie County’s economic development organization consulted its Board and Advisory Council to come up with a contingency plan to help the local business community navigate the crisis.
SEEC’s priorities were to (1) reach out to the business community to understand their needs – (2) create a “Resource Hub” to serve as a central location for businesses to navigate the multitude of relief programs available – and (3) convene the local banking community to discuss the possibility of deploying unconventional access to capital using local assets.
Before charging forward, SEEC assumed a leadership role in facilitating local agency conversations. Weekly conference calls have been led in effort to coordinate roles and responsibilities that may best support the business community through this world pandemic and economic crisis.
Almost immediately, SEEC circulated a COVID-19 Business Impact Survey to Schoharie County business owners in an effort to better assess the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on the local business community. SEEC wanted to hear directly from business owners, as to what kind of resources they would find most helpful. Key survey results:
- 250 businesses responded, which SEEC estimates to be about 35% of ALL registered businesses in the county. Survey respondents were very geographically diverse, with participation from all corners of the county. Responses were received from a wide variety of industry sectors, with businesses of all sizes taking part in the survey.
- “Rent Relief,” “Utility Relief” and “Payroll Relief” were reported as the top three most useful resources to help businesses immediately.• As expected, when asked which resources would be most helpful to stabilize their business in the near-term, survey respondents were clear – financial assistance. SEEC continues to source banking professionals and explore unconventional lending opportunities that may be deployed to supplement the significant relief programs offered by the federal government.
- Nearly HALF of businesses surveyed said that they were not aware of the federal, state and local resources that are available to them – which only reiterated the urgency in getting this Resource Hub up and running.
SEEC is proud to have worked with business alliances to launch the COVID-19 Business Resource Hub online in just a matter of days and quickly disseminated information to people who need it most – our Schoharie County businesses. The Resource Hub will exist as long as it is needed, with SEEC associates making DAILY updates. It is our hope that the local business community sees this website as a trusted place to access the information they need to best manage their business through this unprecedented time.