Many of our organizations have been around for 60 years and, perhaps never in our collective histories, have we been more important in our communities. The unemployment numbers are staggering, exceeding historic highs by 5x. Our business community is devastated and the uncertainty of when we return to "normal" makes things that much worse. The pressure is on us as economic developers and we have no choice but to deliver!
Sending a "letter from the President" seems so trivial and meaningless at the moment, however, I did think it was important to remind you that PEDA is a resource to you and is available to support whatever needs you may have. If and when things settle down just a little bit, Josh and I discussed a teleconference among our members to share experiences and exchange best practices around COVID. We are all consumed with triage and emergency efforts, currently, but things will eventually slow down and it will be refreshing to take a few moments to learn from each other.
I do owe you an introduction to our new Government Affairs representative at Wanner (Alex Rahn), but will wait for a more appropriate and less busy time so we can give him a proper introduction and welcome. He's been tremendously helpful, thus far, and making sure leadership in Harrisburg is aware of the critical role played by PEDA members.
Here are just a few quick updates for you regarding PEDA's day to day operations:
PEDA's government relations team is actively engaged with state legislators in the pursuit of funding to assist the economic development community during the current crisis and in the days that follow. Information will be shared as it's available, but it is critical that PEDA members maintain engagement with their legislators to educate on the impact of our efforts and to advocate for the resources necessary to help our communities survive and thrive.
Due to the compacted schedules we'll all experience, as spring events are pushed to the summer and fall, PEDA will not hold a live 2020 series of regional meetings. Instead, as mentioned previously, other opportunities (e.g., teleconference) will be sought to convene discussions of PEDA members.
As always, we welcome any thoughts or ideas on how PEDA can add value to your organization. In the meantime, I wish you the best as you deal with the economic crisis in your community.