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. Saratoga Partnership Unveils Economic Development Plan for Ballston Spa
The Village of Ballston Spa and Saratoga Partnership unveiled a comprehensive and customized economic development plan designed to spur new vitality, promote future growth, and drive long-term prosperity in the village. Guided by input from hundreds of citizens and community, business, and government leaders, the blueprint outlines a strategic and tactical approach to attracting visitors, residents, and businesses to Ballston Spa by enriching and promoting the assets, resources, charm, and character of the quant and historic village. Click here to view Ballston spa Economic Development Plan
Media Coverage:
2. IDA GRANTS STILL AVAILABLE for Saratoga County Businesses + Not-for-Profits
Do you have a small business in Saratoga County and did you purchase personal protection equipment (PPE) to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19? Through legislation approved by the State of New York, the Saratoga County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) is now assisting for-profit and not-for-profit entities which have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 by providing grants of up to $10,000 for the purchase of personal (and other) protective equipment. In order to qualify for the Saratoga County IDA's grant, applicants must:
  a) Have been a financially viable entity prior to March 20, 2020
  b) Have their principal office in Saratoga County
  c) Be able to demonstrate that they were negatively impacted by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Businesses will be reimbursed for their expenses and the IDA Board will consider all invoices for PPE spent from March 7, 2020 to date.
3. Saratoga County Unemployment Rate Decreasing
The New York State Department of Labor released unemployment data for September and the numbers are looking more promising than they have in recent months. Saratoga County unemployment for September was the eighth lowest in the state at 4.7% compared to New York State at 9.4% and the Alb-Schn-Troy Metro area which had an unemployment rate of 5.4%. Declining weekly unemployment claims indicate that people are able to return to work as COVID infection rates become more manageable and businesses are able to reopen in limited capacities across the region. It is important that we continue to monitor weekly unemployment claims to determine the region’s progress in reopening and people regaining the employment they lost due to the pandemic.
4. Pavilion Grand Hotel in Saratoga Springs is Pivoting Business Model to Meet Marketplace Needs
The Pavilion Grand Hotel in Saratoga Springs is transitioning into the Pavilion Grand Executive Apartments after market demands change due to COVID-19. "After COVID I think we all had to look at how we were doing things and reevaluate our business models and to a degree reinvent ourselves," said Pavilion Grand Hotel General Manager Susanne Simpson. "We just now have the impetus through COVID and the pandemic to say, 'Okay, maybe now is that time.'" The hotel will now offer extended-stay rentals and year-round apartment-style accommodations which will appeal to two types of customers: those who want to stay a week or more while visiting the area, and those who want the services of a high-end hotel but the comfort and furnishings of their own apartment. Pavilion Grand Executive Apartment Complex is designed for the future of apartment living and exclusive corporate housing. Click here to learn more about how they are reinventing the future of executive apartment living in the heart of downtown Saratoga Springs, NY.
5. Community Colleges Can Be Engines of Economic Recovery
Millions of laid-off American workers need new careers, yet the United States gives much less assistance to job seekers than most other countries. Community colleges could bridge the gap, partnering with employers and innovators in the private sector to train workers for careers that meet local needs and pay middle-class wages. The time for action is now. While the U.S. unemployment rate has fallen from its April peak, an increasing share of job losses are permanent rather than temporary. In August, 3.4 million workers lost their jobs for good, compared with only 2 million in April. Losing a job is almost always harmful, but the economic impact is far more severe when it occurs during a recession. Community college job training programs substantially increase participants’ earnings, and because tuition costs are relatively low, they typically provide a good return on public investment. With proper funding and innovation, two-year public colleges can handle job training for millions of people.
6. Five Ways to Prepare Your Municipality for 5G
The transition from 4G to 5G is requiring significant amounts of planning, new and updated infrastructure, and coordination throughout cities across the country. Municipal leaders see growth and revenue opportunities as a result of this emerging technology – such as smart infrastructure, the arrival of new businesses and a growing tax base, even self-driving vehicles. However, in September 2018, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) passed a mandate that limits cities’ ability to regulate 5G infrastructure, and makes it easier and less expensive for carriers like Verizon, T-Mobile and others to move forward installing equipment throughout our communities. Further, the mandate enforced the FCC's "shot clock" time limits, which means municipalities face tighter deadlines to approve or reject installation of the equipment needed. There was flexibility around the timeframes and an ability to delay them, but the FCC's June 2020 Declaratory Ruling reaffirmed they are now strictly enforcing the shot clocks. Here are five ways municipalities can proactively prepare so that the arrival of 5G is integrated with their community's Capital Improvement Plans (CIPs) and other long-term visions. This article also explores the role of 5G, how its capabilities will impact our cities, as well as what the September 2018 legislation and June 2020 updates mean for you.
7. How 'Demand Shock' has Impacted Our Economy
As lockdowns have been lifted in most of the country and businesses have been able to reopen, that supply shock has waned, only for a new problem to emerge: weak demand. Consumer anxiety over the continued spread of the pandemic is holding back the recovery by making it impossible to get back to business as usual. Some of the weakness in demand is because we’re on the verge of a classic recessionary cycle: Since the stimulus payments to unemployed workers ended in July, people either have less money to spend or are worried about spending it, which means businesses have less revenue, which makes them cut back on hiring and investment, which means less spending. But what makes this demand shock exceptional is that the U.S. still has 40,000 to 50,000 new Covid-19 cases and 600 to 700 deaths every day, and as a result lots of Americans are still leery of doing normal, not particularly indulgent things like eating out, going to the gym, or going to the movies.
8. Gen Z, America's Next Pioneers: Here's why this generation could be the first to eschew urban living
For the first time since the Great Depression, the majority of young people are living at home with their parents. Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old bracket have moved home in droves — fleeing college campuses or lonely apartments in cities that have lost their luster during COVID-19. When COVID passes, where they or you will go is anyone's guess. For the last several decades, young people have gravitated to cities, beginning with boomers in the '80s, Gen Xers in the '90's and early 2000's, and millennials who've most recently defined the city scape. Gen Z might defy this pattern and we could be in for a great resettling of rural America. Recent search data on Redfin shows growing interest in rural and suburban life. Perhaps most important, for young Americans, a migration to rural America presents a real opportunity (one that’s more elusive in denser, urban areas) to make a difference through civic and community leadership positions. Rural America’s population is aging — a demographic challenge that especially impacts the availability of leaders in positions of civic duty. There are real societal issues that need action and committed leadership in rural communities that young Americans are ready to address: attracting and maintaining more health care professionals, expanding access to broadband, and ensuring greater support and access to the arts.