Four Ways Economic Development Organizations Are Reacting to COVID-19April 14, 2020 | By: Steve Duncan
When the going gets the tough, the tough get going. At DCI, we’re always amazed at the bright minds in our industry and how they react in a time of crisis. In both tourism and economic development, it’s times like these where our jobs can seem more meaningful than ever before.
Below are a few responses from the economic development community that we have really appreciated for their quick action, relevance and impact.
- FAQ on COVID-19: Most organizations have online resources for businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic. But at the state level, news can change fast and come furiously, which is why New Jersey pulled together this searchable database for just about any question in the book: cv.business.nj.gov. It was live within hours of COVID-19 becoming “real” for most Americans in early March.
- Content Marketing to Support Local Businesses: At a more local level, the City of Concord, CA is partnering with Visit Concord to support local restaurants and businesses that are still open and trying to retain jobs. The Concord Eats program boosts businesses that are doing take-out and delivery, while Concord Live features Facebook entertainment with local bartenders, chefs, workout instructors and musicians to keep folks entertained while also supporting those companies contributing.
- Evening Out An Uneven Downturn: Dallas quickly pulled together a job-matching portal for those who recently lost jobs with those occupations seeing a surge in demand for workers. DCI was honored to help Fairfax County EDA do the same, including figuring out how to help gig workers just as much as hourly and salary workers.
- Utah’s Gentle Touch: Many questions have come to us about how to handle communications with businesses, consultants and other stakeholders during this tough time. Do you address COVID-19? Do you not address it? Should you communicate at all? EDCUtah struck the right chord in an email to such groups by acknowledging our unprecedented times, wishing audiences well in an authentic way and letting them know that the EDO is still available for “benchmarking studies, proactive site identification, virtual site visits, and customized research requests” as needed (but if not, that’s ok too and perfectly understandable).