Eight things you need to know about the impact of COVID-19 on Saratoga County's economy.
8 @ 8 is a newsletter filled with eight things you need to know on topics related to the economy in Saratoga County, New York. You can expect to see 8 @ 8 in your inbox twice a month. If you have content you'd like us to share or have a topic you'd like to see more of, let us know and we'll work to include it in a future edition! - The Saratoga Partnership Team
1. $321 Billion Now Available with Payroll Protection Program
SBA Will Resume Accepting PPP Applications From Lenders on Monday, April 27 at 10:30am EDT
The Federal Government has now passed "Phase 3.5" of the emergency interim coronavirus relief package into law as the latest measure to prop up the U.S. economy and provide aid to the health care system. The $484 billion stimulus package includes an additional $321 billion for the newly created Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP is a lending program designed to help small businesses stay afloat with forgivable loans during the COVID-19 crisis. The PPP was so popular that it ran out of its initial influx of $350 billion in just two weeks. SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin remarked in a joint statement, Read more about the latest stimulus package from NPR here. If you have already been approved for and/or received a loan under the PPP, read this information slideshow from the Small Business Administration to make sure you manage those funds correctly to qualify for forgiveness.
2. Take Phase 2 Saratoga County COVID-19 Business Impact Survey
Over 300 businesses responded to our Phase 1 Saratoga County COVID-19 Business Impact Survey.  The Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, in collaboration with our local, state, and federal community and business partners, conducted a survey to identify Saratoga County businesses in need of assistance, how the Saratoga County economy has been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19), and what resources are needed to ensure business continuity. The Saratoga Partnership gathered information that was used to assist in helping to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 to businesses and our regional economy during these challenging times. Individual responses remained confidential and data collected and disseminated was aggregated. The initial Phase 1 survey results were shared with our federal, state, and local policymakers which helped them draft legislation to assist businesses in Saratoga County. To continue to aid businesses in Saratoga County, the Saratoga Partnership has created a  Phase 2 Saratoga County COVID-19 Business Impact Survey . Phase 2 of the survey asks questions about what type of funding your business has applied for, how your company has adapted to new work regulations, and asks, "what additional assistance does your business need". The survey can be conducted here .
3. SCORE Zoom Town Hall
Local SCORE Counselors and Saratoga Partnership President Shelby Schneider answered small business owners' questions about managing business operations during the COVID-19 crisis and in its aftermath. Small businesses received advice on; what is the best way to stay in touch with customers, how to set up an existing business online, how to reassure employees, and other business-related questions. SCORE is the nation's largest volunteer organization dedicated to supporting small businesses. Watch the entire presentation here. To find a local SCORE mentor and receive FREE business planning and advisory assistance, please email Bill Edwards at wedward1@nycap.rr.com.
4. Capital Region Business Leaders Weigh In On Post-COVID Economy
Two intertwined issues are at or near the top of people's thoughts lately: COVID-19 and the economy. The Daily Gazette asked an array of leaders in the business community across six counties what they thought employers, consumers, and the workforce will need to do when the economy restarts. Saratoga Partnership President Shelby Schneider weighed in stating, "Before we can go back to 'normal' the business community, consumers, and the workforce will need to feel safe. This means that we need to hold ourselves to the highest health and safety measures until our governments and the medical community can scale-up testing for the virus and antibodies for those exposed and recover". Read more on what community leaders had to say about the shape of the "new normal" in the wake of the pandemic.
5. Economic Development Leaders Discuss Changing Economy in Virtual Town Hall
Business development leaders met in a virtual town hall on Wednesday to discuss what the Capital Region economy might look like after the COVID-19 pandemic. The Capital Region Town Hall event hosted by the Troy Innovation Garage brought together sectors across the local economy. Representatives of small business, banking, public transit, the arts, and local politicians spoke about how the COVID-19 crisis has affected them and offered their predictions for the future. Saratoga Partnership President Shelby Schneider said many of the Capital Region's manufacturers and high-tech companies have been deemed essential, giving the area an advantage as our community has sheltered in place. She is also quoted saying, "We are planning recovery now. And we're doing everything whatever possible to make sure that retailers, when they are open, they have PPE and best practices to ensure that their employees are safe, that their customers are safe". Listen to WAMC's report on the Town Hall here.
6. Albany Can Code's Pop-Up Coding Classes Via Facebook
Join Albany Can Code on their Facebook page for their pop-up coding classes for kids. On Tuesday 4/28 at 3:30 pm learn to build a dancing game. In this game, you will learn how to choose a character that can dance, how to animate a dance sequence and make it repeat in a loop, how to add music to your game, and more! This coding class is recommended for people ages 8-99+. On Wednesday 4/29 at 3:30 pm, you will have the opportunity to code a Rock, Paper, Scissors game using Python. Albany Can Code will talk you through the game code so that you can make and play your own game. This pop-up class is recommended for people ages 15-99+. On Wednesday 4/30 at 3:30 pm, anyone ages 8-99+ can add to the Dance Game that was started on Tuesday. Dancers will take turns in the game and you learn how to add interactivity via keyboard input. You can find these coding classes via Albany Can Code's Facebook page here.
7. Economic Development Grants Help NY Companies Retool Operations, Produce Pandemic Supplies
As manufacturers around the world look for ways to make products that support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, National Grid has found a way to support companies across New York who are joining those efforts. As an example, Cohoes-based high-tech manufacturer Precision Valve and Automation, or PVA, is receiving National Grid support to produce critical equipment for healthcare workers and patients. To assist businesses like PVA in making the critical products needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, National Grid is fast-tracking funding requests through its Manufacturing Productivity Program. The program, in collaboration with New York State Manufacturing Extension Partnership, offers funding of up to $40,000 to reimburse customers for the costs to transition their existing facilities to produce critical medical equipment and supplies needed to support the COVID-19 response effort. The program is part of the company's suite of Shovel Ready economic development programs for New York. For more information on the program and other eligibility requirements, please visit www.shovelready.com.
8. PPE Issues and Solutions Webinar: Perspectives of a First Responder Engineer
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) allows frontline workers to perform essential care while mitigating risk both to themselves and to their patients. The COVID-19 crisis has caused a rapid depletion in the PPE stock on hand, competition for new supplies, and widespread emergence of “PPE scams”. The shortage has also enabled a space where creative, collaborative, entrepreneurial solutions have emerged that address the use, reuse of PPE as well as the development of new novel PPE solutions. These solutions come from healthcare workers, first responders, universities, engineers, and “tinkerers” in what could be thought of as a collective brainstorming session fueled by the accessibility of rapid prototyping. This webinar put on by the Clarkson Institute for a Sustainable Environment and Clarkson Ignite will address some of the novel solutions that have been developed to overcome PPE shortage from the perspective of an engineer (i.e. someone who develops and analyzes solutions) who is also a first responder (i.e. someone who relies on PPE). The talk will also discuss solutions that are being used locally and the rationale for those choices. Register here for this webinar being held on Wednesday, April 29 at 3 pm (ET) via Zoom.
Keep up to date on the latest COVID-19 information and resources on our website www.SaratogaPartnership.org , Facebook , Instagram , Twitter , and LinkedIn .

Saratoga County residents can enroll in the county's CodeRED emergency notification system to receive updates from the county's Emergency Management Team. To enroll, CLICK HERE