State council honors pandemic work of county IDA

The New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) recognized its entire membership, including the County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency, with the Robert T. Dormer Economic Developer of the Year award at its annual meeting in Cooperstown, N.Y. The NYSEDC is the state’s principal, nonprofit membership organization representing public, private, and nonprofit economic development professionals from throughout the State of New York.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted lives, economies, and supply chains, and created a global economic crisis that impacted every community in New York State. And every one of the NYSEDC’s members played a critical leadership role in their community in addressing these obstacles. Each were met with the challenge of supporting their business community and workforce during the worst economic crisis of the century, and they continue to work hard to reposition, repurpose, and rebuild their communities and economies in order to make them stronger and more resilient. For this reason, the NYSEDC believes that they all deserve special recognition.

The Robert T. Dormer Developer of the Year Award was established to honor an economic development professional who has made a substantial impact on his or her community and the economic development industry in general.

“The last year has been filled with unprecedented challenges faced by all economic developers,” said Jaime Johnson, incoming Chairman of NYSEDC. “The pandemic disrupted every aspect of the economic landscape, and economic developers were on the front line supporting the needs of their business community and residents.”

The County of Chautauqua Industrial Development Agency front line staff, along with the Chautauqua County front line staff, worked efficiently and effectively to field hundreds of phone calls from local businesses and residents during this time of uncertainty and difficulty. A priority was established to obtain all up-to-date guidance information being released at the state and federal levels regarding COVID-19 in order to direct businesses and residents to the correct sources of information to answer their questions accurately and in a timely manner. In many cases, inquiries were directed towards specific organizations or websites, which provided pertinent information regarding their specific industry guidelines and/or safety plan templates needed for their organization (NY Forward, NYS Department of Health, and NYS Department of Labor).


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