BRATTLEBORO — I am writing to reach Windham region business owners and managers as well as leaders of nonprofits who need help responding to the economic calamity we now face as a result of the COVID-19 disease.
Businesses and organizations that look to survive the next several months must take swift action to assess and understand their current financial situation.
Following Vermont's emergency declaration by Gov. Phil Scott, the BDCC board of trustees, SeVEDS board of directors, and BDCC's entire team have pivoted to respond to the effects of COVID-19 on our region's economy.
Because we do not yet know the scope and duration of the economic obstacles that lie ahead, we have begun an initial phase of communication, connection, and triage.
As of March 15, we have been actively engaged in sharing what we do know to our tenants, the region's businesses, and our community and economic-development partners and municipalities.
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With disruption across every state and every town in our country, we know that our ability to provide the most assistance for our tenants, regional businesses, workers, and economy will depend on two things: how well we connect with other regional community economic- and community-development-focused organizations and how effectively we deploy our staff to connect one-on-one with tenants and regional businesses that seek help.
Our immediate objective is to help and support our businesses as they assess their current financial situation.
We would first like to ask if you would be willing to complete an impact statement through our survey portal, if you have not done so already.
Having baseline impacts updated over the next several months will allow us to understand the evolving scope and nature of the individual and collective economic injury occurring here in the Windham region.
We know there will be needs that will go unmet from the resources in the current federal packages. Only with your current information can we continue to not only advocate for your needs, but ensure that you have access to tools and resources coming online now.
Details of these tools and resources being made available to businesses, employers, and non-profits as a result of the new federal legislation continue to become better known with each passing day.
BDCC has shifted staff to serve as liaisons to assist owners and managers as they pursue taking steps to obtain federal assistance. After business owners and managers complete their current financial analysis, they can begin to make informed decisions about the best resources to pursue to help keep them solvent until the economic conditions are better understood.
You are encouraged to gather documents detailed on our website in order to be prepared to apply for lending and payment-relief programs as they materialize.
Owners and managers will find current resources we have identified and actions you can take right now. To connect with a BDCC business liaison, please email [email protected]. We pledge to respond to all email inquiries with a direct email or voice communication from a BDCC staff member.
For those not ready to reach out directly, please be sure to sign up for our newsletter and join our weekly business resiliency webinar. Instructions to access are available at https://brattleborodevelopment.com/weekly-resiliency-webinars/.
BDCC will continue to be nimble and adapt as this situation evolves and as the specifics of state and federal responses become more evident.
Through these direct partnerships, we will have an accurate understanding of our region's economic needs, and through these partnerships we will find ourselves positioned to respond with additional program development and financial assistance programs in the days ahead.
Do not hesitate to contact us with questions and concerns as we all work to help our region navigate this.