Monday, March 16 marked the first in a thrice-weekly webinar series brought to area business leaders by the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber and Economic Development Board to give the latest economic updates and resources available to local employers.
A panel of community leaders were brought on for the first audio webinar to give updates from their various sectors and answer listener questions, including the following representatives:
- Pierce County Executive Bruce Dammeier,
- City of Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards,
- Pierce County Emergency Management Director Jody Ferguson,
- Pierce County Economic Development Department business specialist Gary Wescott,
- Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber President and CEO Tom Pierson, and
- Economic Development Board Tacoma-Pierce County President & CEO Bruce Kendall.
Kendall acted as emcee for the webinar, and explained that the intention for the new series, which will be held every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for the duration of the outbreak, is to provide businesses with the best information available from key leaders in the community.
“COVID-19 is having and will continue to have profound effects on your business,” he said to the more than 400 listeners who called in. “But we are a tough, compassionate community and we are going to get through this together.”
He then kicked it over to the panel, who each introduced themselves and gave a brief overview in the latest developments in their purview, such as Pierce County Executive Dammeier’s update that construction and supply chain positions are being given expanded capabilities in order to maintain and meet the demand of those sectors, or Pierce County Emergency Management Director Ferguson’s update that businesses will soon be able to take advantage of economic industry disaster declaration loans that will be signed into effect next week and offer low interest loans for most businesses and nonprofits.
Much of the webinar, though, was responding to specific audience questions, which ranged in topic from remote work and social distancing measures to economic injury programs and the possibility of shutting down companies.
In fact, so many questions poured through the airwaves that the panel couldn’t get through all of them. When the 60-minute time limit was approaching, Dammeier encouraged listeners to tune into the next webinar on Wednesday where the remaining questions would be answered.
His parting words were that of encouragement for the South Sound’s business community in these times of uncertainty. “Businesses are an essential part of our community, and this is a time for community to come together unlike anything in our lifetime. Look out for your neighbors, your family, your loved ones,” he said, reminding the audience once again that we will all get through this together.
For local business resources and instructions on how to tune into Wednesday’s webinar (taking place at 10:30 a.m. on March 17), visit this website.
Thumbnail photo by Axel Breuer from Pexels