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If We Are To Reopen Safely, It Will Be Done Through Partnerships

There is a lot for county residents to be proud of during our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The partnerships emerging between public and private entities is one of them.

Long before Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared that Western New York can begin its four-phase reopening, the Chautauqua County IDA, Jamestown Community College and the Chautauqua County Chamber Of Commerce and Manufacturer’s Association of the Southern Tier have been working on reopening plans so that when our business community was given the OK to put people back to work, they could do so safely.

The IDA created a capital loan fund and worked with the Chamber of Commerce to create reopening safety templates for businesses – templates that ended up being remarkably similar to the state’s templates. Within four weeks, the IDA had created and disbursed $250,000 in working capital loans for business with relaxed loan conditions as a way to help businesses through the pandemic. IDA officials have also created a matching grant program for personal protective equipment purchases, masks, cleaners, barriers and other items that help prevent the spread of COVID-19. JCC joined the team with technical assistance for businesses so they can better protect employees and customers when businesses reopen.

We don’t have to look very far to find organizations sticking to their silos. This example from the IDA, Chamber of Commerce and JCC is a good reminder that if we are to reopen safely, it will be through partnerships at all levels.

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