With each new day, individuals, businesses, and organizations are having to make difficult decisions that have very real and immediate consequences for their businesses and for those who they employ. While we use the term 'businesses', 'organizations', and 'employees', what we are really talking about is our community members and friends. There is an awareness that peoples' lives and livelihoods are being impacted and that what is at stake is the health of our community. To me, what that feels like is a community stepping up and working together.
In the days that have passed since COVID-19 became an emergent threat to our local community, I have seen countless acts of kindness, solidarity, and creativity. People are concerned, people are sad, people are scared. However, there is also hope, calm, and a coming together that I think embodies the interconnectedness and deep concern that we have for each other. Organizations are being nimble, problem-solving and finding ways to help. Local and state government officials are making hard decisions in the best interest of communities and they are deploying resources as fast as they can.
With so much information out there, where are people supposed to turn? Here at Portland Downtown, we've also been questioning "What is our role?", "What should we be sharing?", and "Are we doing enough?". With our small but mighty staff of four and our 19-member volunteer board of directors, I can tell you that we are all-hands-on-deck figuring out what we can do to ensure that we weather this storm and that our friends, businesses and organizations, and wider community emerge from this together, united, and strong.
While we all navigate the day-to-day, hour-to-hour changes, here are some resources we'd like to share:
For information on COVID-19:
For businesses, organizations, and employers:
For individuals and employees:
For staying healthy, connected and helping your community amid the uncertainty: