Summit County officials talk resources for local businesses, prepare to launch economic data dashboard
With businesses across Summit County reporting an around $106 million loss in revenue in the last three months of the year, officials are looking at ways to do more to support them.
At a community town hall on Friday, Jan. 29, County Commissioner Elisabeth Lawrence, joined by leaders in the county’s business community, shared information about recovery resources for local businesses.
Efforts to support small business during the pandemic aren’t new. The county and town governments have all provided their own version of economic relief to businesses, in addition to federal funding and the statewide 5 Star Business Certification Program.
The newest effort, however, comes in the form of an economic data dashboard. Since the new Board of County Commissioners were sworn into the position in early January, the commissioners and members of the county’s economic recovery committee, have pushed county officials to gather more informative data.
When completed, the dashboard will look very similar to those in Gunnison and Eagle counties, April Kroner, Summit County’s planning director said. The Gunnison dashboard includes data on business status, employment status, sales and tax revenue, food and housing security and spending habits.
Summit County plans to use data collected from surveys similar to the economic impact surveys sent out by the Summit Prosperity Initiative’s to inform the dashboard, Kroner said.
“(The dashboard is) continuing on with those efforts and getting (data) out to the public and, primarily, our decision makers,” Kroner said. “So they can understand what things our businesses are facing, projecting and forecasting and what things we maybe could be doing different, what policy decisions we might be able to make as we continue through COVID in terms of helping our businesses out.”
The dashboard will also include data on behavioral health, gathered from Building Hope’s operations.
“It will look a bit more holistic, not just looking at what are the unemployment numbers … but also starting to look at how this has impacted behavioral health in our community and how this is impacting housing in our community as well,” Kroner said. “We’re going to try to hone in on the impacts overall in the county and they’re all very interrelated.”
The dashboard is still a new undertaking for the county, and there’s not yet a date for when it will be published. In the meantime, the county is asking members of the business community to reach out to the economic recovery committee members with ideas of what they want to see.
“We’ll consider any input that the businesses have on how we can make this work, what are some of the guidelines that we can incorporate that are best practices … and what are the things that can take us forward to help us be able to get open more quickly and responsibly once we have the ability to do so,” said Corry Mihm, who sits on the committee.
A full list of the committee members and their contact information can be found at SummitCountyCO.gov/1347/Business-Resources.
Lawrence also took the meeting as an opportunity to encourage the community to follow COVID-19 guidelines, as rising local cases could threaten the status of restrictions placed on businesses.
“We know that we cannot go through another complete shutdown, or for our businesses to have to suffer in level red like they have before,” she said. “It’s really a balance between the economic support and the health of our community.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
As a Summit Daily News reader, you make our work possible.
Now more than ever, your financial support is critical to help us keep our communities informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on our residents and businesses. Every contribution, no matter the size, will make a difference.
Your donation will be used exclusively to support quality, local journalism.