The Otsego County Economic Impact Task Force provided an update on initiatives to support business in response to COVID-19:

Immediate Countywide Efforts by Task Force in Support of Business

· The Task Force has developed a countywide Think Local Buy Local Campaign called “Love Your Locals” in support of all local businesses. This social media campaign will run every Saturday to remind residents to shop small on Saturdays and to consider buying local every day.

· Sweet Home Productions ( SupportOtsego.com) and dozens of other community-minded agencies helped build a database of businesses that lists the ways in which the businesses are able to connect with their customers. Through two new websites (SupportOtsego.com and SupportOneonta.com) thousands of residents will have

 

access to a “one-stop shop” of resources to keep them informed and help them in this difficult time. IMPORTANT: A primary function of both websites is the promotion and connection to local businesses to provide them with a vital financial lifeline. The Task Force strongly encourages all businesses to please visit SupportOtsego.com to add their businesses and the information needed by customers, on a short, easy form.

· Additionally, the Task Force has added an online Business Community Discussion Forum that is now available for use on the website SupportOtsego.com. To participate in the online forum, please follow these steps:

1. Go to Support Otsego.com and click on the Business Forum button and click register.

2. Complete the registration information and select “Complete Sign Up.”

3. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Please make sure to check your Spam folder if you do not immediately receive in your Inbox, as sometimes it will appear there.

The Task Force hopes that providing this opportunity will be a source of valuable support, sense of community and insight for all businesses. If you have any questions about using the forum, reach out to: · Mark Drnek of Sweet Home Productions (mark@sweethomeproductions.com), or

· Moderators Barbara Ann Heegan of The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce (baheegan@otsegocc.com) or Tara Burke of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce (director@cooperstownchamber.org).

According to Board Chair David Bliss: "Our local businesses are vital to the creativity, passion and sense of community that make Otsego County thrive and they are essential for our economy. They bring growth and innovation to our communities. They provide employment and opportunities and in turn support our community organizations from youth sports and the arts to hospice care. They are what make our towns special and unique. We ask that you invest in our community by making "SupportOtsego.com" your first stop when you need to purchase a product or service. "

According to Mayor Gary Herzig: “The people of Otsego County are coming together to overcome the COVID-19 challenge as One Community. The Economic Impact Task Force is one example of how we are working to Survive, Then Thrive. Keeping all our local businesses intact is a top priority. Otsego County and the City of Oneonta have always been jewels. When we reopen, they will be valued more than ever. Together, we will get there.”

According to Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh: “As we unite to confront this health crisis, it is critical that we support our community members and our economy. The Think Local Buy Local campaign provides an effective way to provide that support.”

According to Senator James L. Seward: “Our small businesses have always been the backbone of our local communities, and they will be even more important as we move forward and rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Otsego County Economic Task Force is providing an essential service for businesses and consumers alike, and I applaud their efforts. Shopping local and purchasing homegrown products will help our region recover and ensure future vitality. Stay healthy, stay safe and look out for your neighbors.”