Eight things you need to know about 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. How should local leaders use their American Rescue Plan funding? Brookings weighs in.
For many cities and counties, the American Rescue Plan’s (ARP) state and local funds are not just a $350 billion lifeline; they represent the largest positive fiscal jolt to their budgets in decades. Click here to see how funds will be distributed locally. Now, a scramble is underway to determine how best to deploy the money. The decisions made in the coming weeks— and over the next year regarding the second tranche of funding—will determine whether cities merely enjoy a brief stimulus or seed a new trajectory of inclusive economic growth. Based on their on-the-ground work they believe that elected officials—and the networks of civic, business, philanthropic, and community stakeholders that surround them—should take a three-pronged approach to using their ARP funding: stabilize, strategize, and organize. In addition to direct government services, ARP allows cities to invest in infrastructure and launch programs to support workers and small businesses.  Click here to read more from Brookings Institute.
2. Infrastructure Investment as an Economic Stimulus Tool
Investing in the nation’s infrastructure can provide an immediate economic boost and create jobs, but its greatest value lies in supporting economic competitiveness over the long term. According to Area Development, proponents of infrastructure spending during dire economic times view it as a productive job creator and essential foundation for a long-term recovery and return to sustained prosperity. Congressional Budget Office has estimated that every dollar spent on infrastructure produced an economic benefit of up to $2.20, and the U.S. Council of Economic Advisers has calculated that $1 billion of transportation infrastructure investment supports 13,000 jobs for a year. Click here to read more from Area Development.
3. DATA - CDRPC Releases Regional Economic Recovery Dashboard
The Capital District Regional Planning Commission (CDRPC) developed this economic dashboard to provide timely and relevant indicators of economic health and recovery in Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Schenectady Counties. Data is available at a regional and county level. This dashboard was funded through the US Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration CARES Act. CLICK HERE TO VIEW DASHBOARD. Notable Data for Saratoga County 
5-YoY overview of employment by industry
  • Largest job gains: Transportation and Warehousing (+32%), Real Estate and Rental and Leasing (+22%)
  • Largest job losses: Arts, Entertainment and Recreation (-25%), Finance and Insurance (-8%) Retail Trade (-5%), Accommodation and Food Services (-5%)
  • Labor Participation Rate – 58.7% - Labor Force 114,301
  • Unemployment rate (Nov 2020) – 4.2% (Lowest in region)
  • Small business opens – Capital Region -26.8% - Saratoga -39.2%
  • Small business revenue – Capital Region -31.7% - Saratoga -49.6%
4. Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications Open on April 8 - How to Apply
The U.S. Small Business Administration has launched a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal in anticipation of opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021. Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here.
All potential SVOG applicants will need to be registered in the federal government’s System for Awards Management (also known as SAM.gov) to apply. As the SBA prepares to open the SVOG applications, the dedicated SBA website, which includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials (including one on how to get registered in SAM.gov), a preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements, is the best source for program information.
5. Excelsior Pass COVID "Passport" to Fast-Track the Reopening of Venues
A new, first-of-its-kind digital passport has launched in New York's ongoing effort to fast-track the reopening of businesses and major sports and entertainment venues across the state. The online program is designed to securely display New Yorkers' COVID-related information and help authenticate a person's vaccination or proof of a recent negative COVID-19 test. The Excelsior Pass, the so-called "vaccine passport," officially launched Friday after several pilot programs and beta testing. People can print out their Excelsior Pass or store it on their phones using the Excelsior Pass's "Wallet App." Each pass will have a secure QR code, which venues or businesses scan using a companion app to confirm someone's COVID health status. Click here to learn more about Excelsior Pass and how it works.
6. How Would a Prolonged Shutdown of the Suez affect the Global Supply Chain?
Many of us haven't thought about the Suez Canal since grade school, and this week one little boat (a boat the size of the Empire State Building) has disrupted the global economy. Global supply chains, already significantly disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic, could be further stressed by a prolonged shutdown of the Suez Canal, said Jonathan Gold, vice president for supply chain and customs policy with the National Retail Federation. Before the grounding of the massive Ever Given container ship in the Suez Canal, some 50 vessels a day, or about 10% of global trade, sailed through the waterway each day — everything from consumer electronics to food, chemicals, ore and petroleum. Lloyd's List estimates that the waiting game to move the stranded Ever Given is costing $9.6 billion per day. Click here to read more from NPR. New York Times offers that the shutdown of the vital waterway is a warning about excessive globalization and the need for re-shoring.
7. SURVEY - Skidmore College Students Research Impact of NYSERDA Programs
A group of Senior students from Skidmore College are researching how many residents in Saratoga County can save money on their utility bill's using current NYSERDA programs. Programs like Empower, Comfort Home and Assisted Home Performance are funded by the government to help residents upgrade their homes, make life more comfortable and save money. Below is a link to take a 5-minute survey to understand perceptions in the county. Taking this survey will help them greatly and you can enter to win one of several Stewarts gift cards! TAKE THE SURVEY
8. New York lawmakers agree to legalize recreational marijuana
The legislation would allow recreational marijuana sales to adults over the age of 21, and set up a licensing process for the delivery of cannabis products to customers. Individual New Yorkers could grow up to three mature and three immature plants for personal consumption, and local governments could opt out of retail sales.
The legislation would take effect immediately if passed, though sales wouldn’t start until New York sets up rules and a proposed cannabis board. Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes estimated Friday it could take 18 months to two years for sales to start. Click here to read more from the Post Star. MAP: See the states where marijuana is legal.