04 May Medina County Celebrates Economic Development Week with Establishment of Taskforce: Local Economic Development Officials Lead the Way in County’s Business Recovery Efforts
|Small businesses which take care of their employees and customers alike have long been the backbone of Medina County’s economy, and in this challenging time, they are clearly poised to weather the storm and emerge ready to grow. Most Medina County companies have found ways to keep going and keep their employees working. While the County’s unemployment rate has gone from 4.4% to 6.3% in the past month, compared to many areas of the country, this change is not nearly as severe as others are seeing.|
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the County’s local economic development team mobilized quickly. Medina County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC), the City of Brunswick, the City of Medina, and the City of Wadsworth came together to determine how best to support the business community and to be ready for the recovery when it comes. Calling themselves the Economic Development Response Taskforce, the group attended numerous webinars and information sessions, and mobilized experts to gather additional resources.
“The Taskforce has been laser-focused on business support, which is what economic development is all about,” said Bethany Dentler, Executive Director of MCEDC. “The International Economic Development Council’s designation of May 4-9, 2020 as Economic Development Week is very timely as a recognition of all our efforts.” See www.iedconline.org/edw
“In establishing the Taskforce, we wanted to give companies the opportunity to concentrate on their businesses while we gathered the information they needed,” said Kimberly Marshall, Economic Development Director of the City of Medina. “It was also vital that we shared with each other what we were learning from businesses so we had a collective sense of how we could help. Early identification of the next challenge has been a primary discussion.”
While the team often focuses on manufacturing as it is the biggest industry sector in Medina County, in this situation it was important to speak to businesses across the board. “Understanding what assistance is needed by retail and commercial businesses as well as what is happening from our building owners’ perspectives was just as critical to our efforts,” explained Grant Aungst, Director, Economic and Community Development for the City of Brunswick.
The City of Wadsworth’s Economic Development Director, Jim Gray, said, “We have made and continue to make a lot of phone calls to talk directly to our businesses. And we have also conducted two surveys – one directly asking what help they need, and the second asking for feedback on a proposed reopening scenario, which was sent directly to State leaders making those decisions.”
The Taskforce is poised and ready to help businesses now and throughout the recovery. “Information is available at www.medinacounty.org/covid-19/ and it is updated daily. We have resources for personal protective equipment available locally, cleaning services, financial information, advice resources, and links to training. We have really tried to capture the needs in one place,” said Kathy Breitenbucher, Economic Developer for MCEDC. She added, “We are always happy to talk to our businesses as well.”
To reach a member of the Taskforce, you can call them or email at the contact information listed on http://www.medinacounty.org/economic-development-response-taskforce/.
|Need information on COVID-19? Financial resources, advice, cleaning companies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and more is available at www.medinacounty.org/covid-19/.|