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. G+G Lighting of Halfmoon Accelerates Growth with Start-Up New York Program
The Saratoga Partnership is proud to have teamed up with the University at Albany to support the innovation and growth of G+G Industrial Lighting of Halfmoon with the START-UP NY Program. G&G Industrial Lighting plans to invest $2 million and create seven jobs over the next five years. The 20-person company will be moving into new space managed by the Saratoga County Prosperity Partnership, which is working with UAlbany on the project.G&G, founded by Jason Baright in 2011, began by specializing in waterproof LED lighting for the car wash industry. The company plans to use the partnership to expand into additional industrial markets, including new designs in food-processing and mass transit applications. G+G's presence will provide internship and research opportunities for UAlbany students. Read more about G+G Industrial Lighting and START-UP NY here.
2.Albany Can Code Offers Virtual Digital Literacy Class
A new Virtual Digital Literacy class is now open for registration for residents of Saratoga,
Warren, and Washington counties.
AlbanyCanCode announced that registration is open for its newest Virtual Digital Literacy
class, offered in partnership with the Saratoga County Employment and Training Administration.
The ETA will provide funding to cover 100% of the tuition for income-eligible students from
Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties. AlbanyCanCode began offering Virtual Digital Literacy classes last spring in response to the rise in remote work. The ten-week class is intended to meet students at any current skill level and help them meet their own personal goals, whether that is new employment opportunities requiring digital competency, the ability to support children who are remote learners, or entry into one of the
organization’s workforce computer programming courses. The Virtual Digital Literacy class will meet twice a week, on Monday and Wednesday mornings from 10am - 12pm. The class will be conducted virtually, using AlbanyCanCode’s digital platform, and loaner laptops will be provided by the organization to students who do not
have access to their own. To register for the course, contact Sheryl Morrow, Employment Counselor, at (518) 884-4906 or smorrow@saratogacountyny.gov . View this flyer for more information.
3. Low-Interest Loans to Assist New York Businesses and Residents Affected by the Severe Storms and Flooding on August 24, 2020
New York businesses and residents affected by severe storms and flooding on Aug. 24, 2020 can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The declaration covers Washington County and the adjacent counties of Essex, Rensselaer, Saratoga and Warren in New York and areas of Vermont. Businesses and not for profits can apply for up to $2 million if they experienced physical damages or economic injury as a result of the storms. Learn more here.
4. Leveraging Hydropower Plants with Solar Energy?
Hydropower plants that leverage the force of falling water to generate electricity are already an important part of the global energy mix, but a new study suggests they may have much more to offer. Scientists have carried out an analysis of the energy potential of combining these facilities with floating solar panels, calculating these hybrid plants could meet a “significant” portion of the world’s current electricity needs. The analysis was carried out by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), who looked at the freshwater hydropower reservoirs currently installed across the world and their potential to accommodate floating solar photovoltaic panels on the water’s surface. These systems could be retrofitted to allow solar power to be generated during the day, while the hydropower systems store up water and energy for use during peak demand periods. As it stands, this kind of hybrid floating solar/hydropower system has been installed in only one location, as a pilot project in the dam of Portugal’s River Rabagão. According to the new analysis from the NREL, this is very much just scraping the surface of what these systems could offer. The team estimates that there are almost 380,000 other hydropower reservoirs around the world that could be fitted with these floating photovoltaic systems.
5. The Unexpected Boom in Startups
America is currently experiencing what some are calling a "startup boom." That's right — even with a raging pandemic and an ugly recession, America is seeing a boom in the creation of new businesses. Most of these new businesses are seizing opportunities created by the weird coronavirus economy — an economy where people don't really want to do stuff face-to-face anymore. The largest area for new business creation is online retail.Moreover, many of the new businesses are just people who were laid off and were forced to strike out on their own. But with these important asterisks, it may be good news that new businesses are growing out of the ashes of old businesses. Economists have a term for this. They call it "creative destruction." Click here with more from NPR.
6. Boom in E-Commerce Creating Workforce Opportunities
The pandemic is just the latest blow to a trend in brick-and-mortar downturn. Previous years have seen record closures due, in part, to online retail giants dominating retail. Meanwhile, steady (and rising) unemployment numbers have left many out of work. But there is an expected bright spot in the culmination of these two problems: The rise of e-commerce could fuel a massive need for fulfillment center workers. It’s clear that this challenging moment in our history is reshaping many industries. If you’re hoping to mobilize your warehouse to take advantage of e-commerce opportunity, these are the things you should keep in mind.
7. Expanded Incentives Support the Growth in Remote Work
So much about life has changed dramatically since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve upped our game with hand hygiene and gotten used to wearing a mask in public. We’ve learned a lot about food carryout and delivery. And for millions of Americans, we’ve had a crash course in remote work. Remote work is not just a necessary response to the pandemic, but potentially a new way of doing business that can be beneficial to some jurisdictions that could really stand to attract high-paying remote jobs and the well-paid people who fill them. Learn more about how local economies are benefitting from adding new jobs - whether those jobs are performed on-site or remotely - and they are incentivizing them, too.
8. She Made Winemaking History. She's Beating the Odds Again
A grape grower-vinter is taking an unusual path to overcome the pandemic and the California wildfires. Amelia Morán Ceja made history in 1999 when she became the first Mexican American woman to launch her own wine business with her family in California. Today the business, Ceja Vineyards, is flourishing while many small producers in wine country are in trouble. One reason is geography (this year's wildfires haven't reached Ceja's grapes), but another reason is the winery's business model. Read here about how any business can apply Ceja Vineyard's business model and the small business advice they have.