April 2, 2020
Business and Community News

XO Alambic, a Port business tenant at Blue Mountain Station, and Red Band Cellars, a Port business tenant in the Rock Hill Industrial Park, have teamed up to distill an ethanol-based hand sanitizer for use by our local first responders. MANY requests have come in from other businesses and residents who would like some of this product to use for cleaning, which we're trying to make happen. We'll keep you posted.

DEVOTION TO DAYTON IS SHOWING: The goodwill and community spirit being shown in Columbia County throughout this economic and health crisis is astonishing. Grocery stores shopping for people and setting up deliveries, businesses changing their operations models to keep people safer yet provide essential services, citizens purchasing gift certificates to local businesses and leaving them on people's doorsteps, restaurants donating meals...the list goes on and on. Thank you to everyone for helping make this catastrophe more tolerable!!

GROCERY DELIVERY: The Columbia County Public Transit grocery delivery model is working like a charm! You can find contact info for the stores and for the Senior Center Meal Delivery on the list at the bottom of this newsletter.

GIVING TO THE CAUSE: A local fund called Soldiers & Sailors Fund is available for assistance to veteran-owned businesses. Contact the County Commissioner's office at 382-4542 to learn more. Additional assistance is coming for others in the community and we should be able to share details next week. In the meantime, read this Times article about Helping the Helpers.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESS LIST: There are some updated items on the Essential Businesses List. If you have questions on whether or not your business is considered essential, please call the Port office at 392-2577 and we'll do our best to help you sort through it. At the very bottom of the list there is a link to a form to fill out if you'd like to appeal to have your business considered essential.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM GOES LIVE TOMORROW: Every business guide I've read in the last few days encourages businesses to sign up for the Paycheck Protection Program loan. The portion of funds used for payroll, rent, and utilities that keeps your people employed for 8 weeks can be forgiven - meaning that a portion of the loan turns into a grant! Banner Bank has a link that can get you "in line" for this loan. Click on this link and get signed up now!

This page from our congressional representative's website has a good explanation of currently available resources.

GRAVIS LAW OFFICE is offering a FREE webinar called Navigating Through the Crisis on Friday, April 3 at 11:00 am. Their CEO will share what they've learned as they've taken significant steps to ensure their own survival.

THE NOT SO GOOD NEW: Columbia County's newest industry is temporarily shut down due to the COVID-19 crisis. Read the press release on Columbia Pulp here. Read the UB article here.
SPEAKING OF DEVOTED TO DAYTON: We have updated the list of businesses and contact information for take-out, delivery, and essential services that was previously sent out as a mailer. This one includes some of our neighboring businesses. Click on the picture to view the entire list. Keep up the good work everyone - Columbia County still has only had 1 positive COVID-19 test!

April 1 Was Census Day. Have You Completed Yours?
Did you know that for every person that does not fill out a census form, Columbia County loses almost $2,000 in federal funding per year? During the last decade, Columbia County left a lot of money on the table due to uncounted residents. Census counts are used for things like county road funding, farm bill funding, congressional district boundaries, and so much more.

By now you should have received either a paper copy of the census form or a postcard with a code directly linked to your address on it. You can fill out the census form online, and it only takes about 10 minutes. If you don't have a postcard with a code, you can still fill it out just by putting in your address.

The first census response rates were released today, and Columbia County had the second highest response rate in the state - 19.6%! That is great....but we've still got 80.4% of the county to go. If you fill it out now, no one will come knocking on your door in April.