A message from Casey Gilbert, our executive director
Last week I sent an email titled  Finding Our Way , which highlighted many of the efforts being made by local organizations to support our business and nonprofit community. Every day, there are more and more examples of how people are  adapting being innovative stepping up , giving back, and  lending a hand (or two!) . Beloved  celebrities  are inspiring us, as are our  youth . In the midst of all the sad news, it is nice to be reminded that human goodness is still very much alive and well.

I want to thank everyone who participated in the surveys that were linked in last week's email. Here's what we heard:

For businesses and organizations , the most  challenging  part of all this has been: Uncertainty; having to lay off employees; losing clients/projects; no revenue; being forced to close. You indicated that the most  helpful  resources have been: Updates from Portland Downtown and the City of Portland; information from local governments; Maine CDC; industry-specific communications (i.e. Maine Retail Association; Maine Restaurant Association; American Massage Therapy Association, etc). What you still  need : financial assistance; information about lay-offs and unemployment; and many of you were unsure of what you need.

For individuals , the most  challenging  part of all this has been: Staying home; isolation; uncertainty/fear; loss of savings/retirement; lack of paid work; no child care; being unable to visit family & friends; and balancing home life and work. The most  helpful  resources for you have been: Updates from Portland Downtown and the City of Portland; NPR; Maine CDC; World Health Organization; Dr. Fauci; apps such as Calm; and the local news. What you still  need : mental health resources, reassurance, and more health/statistical virus information to become available.

Please know that  I hear you We , your Portland Downtown friends,  hear you . It has been a challenge to stay grounded and to navigate the complexities of this situation. A colleague of mine shared an article with me that really helped me to better understand what it is that I have been feeling:  grief . Perhaps it might resonate with you, too. One of my favorite professional publications just released a free edition this week, which is also helping me to find inspiration. If you are interested in the topic of leadership, I welcome you to check it out:  Leader To Leader . Frances Hesselbein is a personal hero of mine.

To try and stay current on the latest news and updates, I've signed up for  City of Portland alerts  and I keep an eye on the  Office of the Governor's newsroom . For up-to-date information about navigating new legislation, I've really enjoyed following  Senator Heather Sanborn , who is able to relay complex information in a way that is easy to understand. Next week, I'll be excited to share with you how  our staff  at Portland Downtown has been adapting...and a few other tidbits that we hope will brighten your day.

I want to leave you with this quote, which I found brought me a little peace this week:

"If it weren't for the rocks in its bed, the stream would have no song."
–Carl Perkins