March 27 2020

Week in Review: March 23 – March 27, 2020


Stay up-to-date on business and economic development happenings in the Capital Region with the CEG Economic Development Week in Review. Don’t miss out on the developments that are transforming the region by following us on:



WTEN: Help for Local Manufacturers

Register Star: Small businesses adjust during coronavirus

Times Union: With essential business directive, New York sails ‘uncharted waters,’ lawyer says

Times Union: Local essential manufacturers work through pandemic

Laredo Times: Local essential manufacturers work through pandemic

Business Review: Comfortex pivots window blind factory to make gowns and masks

Business Review: Mohawk shifts production to hand sanitizer labels and converting rolls of gowns and masks

Business Review: CDPHP’s John Bennett: The time is now for planning how to get people back to work

Glens Falls Business Journal: CEG President: Quality Of Life In Warren, Washington Counties Is A Selling Point

Times Union: How Capital Region gaming studios are coping with the pandemic

Times Union: Center for Economic Growth offering support to manufacturers 

San Antonio Express-News: How Capital Region gaming studios are coping with the pandemic


Local distilleries making hand sanitizer to fight COVID-19

“Two local distilleries have announced they are starting to produce hand sanitizer to help stem the coronavirus outbreak.

Springbrook Hollow Farm Distillery in Queensbury is making and distributing a thousand bottles of free hand sanitizer as soon as Thursday afternoon.”

RPI offers AiMOS supercomputing capabilities to battle COVID-19

“Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is doing its part to help battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The college is enlisting AiMOS, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world, to help fight the battle.

According to a news release, Rensselaer is reaching out to the research community, including government entities, universities, and industry, to offer access to AiMOS in support of research related to the new coronavirus disease.”

Facing unprecedented demand, manufacturers and retailers gear up to feed New Yorkers in a time of crisis

“Bilinski’s Sausage Co. has switched from eight to 12-hour shifts and moved to a six-day work week to keep up with demand.

Orders at the Cohoes chicken sausage factory have surged from 90,000 pounds a week to 180,000.”

Cuomo: Economic recovery planning needs to start now as costs of coronavirus shutdown rise

“Businesses are facing new realities this week as many have been forced to lay off employees and shut down — at least temporarily — to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo claimed responsibility for that slowdown on Monday, and said economic recovery planning must start as soon as possible.”

Plug Power chief believes coronavirus will change companies and customers forever

“Plug Power’s two largest customers are hiring a total of 250,000 temporary workers in a race to refill stores as consumers wipe out shelves while the United States battles to get the new coronavirus under control.

Amazon is hiring 100,000 workers and Walmart is searching for 150,000 to keep up.”

New York robot maker will produce up to 100 ventilators per day as coronavirus spreads

“Precision Valve & Automation in Colonie is ready to make up to 100 emergency ventilators a day to assist patients suffering from the coronavirus as the number of confirmed cases in New York swells to more than 25,000.

Chief executive Tony Hynes, whose company has spent 28 years building robots used to manufacture automobile dashboard screens, artificial hips and military weapons, is racing to resolve a shortage of 30,000 ventilators in New York state.”

How banks are working with small businesses hit hard by coronavirus: ‘It’s a triage situation’

“Jim Morris said Berkshire Bank has turned its focus to helping customers sort through the chaos of the coronavirus outbreak as businesses have shut down and people have been laid off due to measures implemented to stop the spread.

“As a bank, we’ve needed to drop everything we’re doing and figure out who’s hurting most and attend to those needs,” said Morris, regional president of Berkshire’s Capital Region market. “It’s a triage situation as the customers line up, we want to process them all and put them in order of seriousness.””

With farmers’ markets on hiatus, local growers improvise

“The Troy Atrium has been quiet the last couple of weeks as the Troy winter farmers market takes a break during the Covid-19 pandemic.

But that doesn’t mean their products, ranging from milk and cheese to vegetables and other produce, isn’t available.”

Unemployment numbers in NY, nation soar amid pandemic

“The number of people filing unemployment claims has nearly quintupled in New York as businesses shutter across the state and country in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Labor released data Thursday morning showing the Empire State’s unemployment numbers increased a whopping 66,062 from last week to bring the total initial claims to 80,334 in New York.”

Schenectady County 2nd in state for population growth

“Forget about Saratoga County being the Capital Region’s fastest-growing county.

For the past year that honor goes to Schenectady County, which ranked second statewide for percentage growth — though it came at the sluggish rate of 0.1 percent, according to U.S. Census Bureau county population estimates released Thursday.”

Theater and quilters creating protective face masks

“We’ve all seen a movie that takes place in World War II where a group of average citizens learn of a crisis and unite to pool resources and lead their side to victory over a common enemy.

Well, that film is presently acting out locally. Like the best moments of such films the actions are spontaneous and voluntary.”

No traffic, no problems for delivery drivers

“Truck drivers have faced a number of hurdles in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. But lately, traffic hasn’t been one of them.

A study released Tuesday by the American Transportation Research Institute found that trucks not only have been delivering critical groceries, medical equipment and other supplies, they’ve managed to do it faster.”

Some businesses busy during coronavirus shutdown

“Some companies are business as usual during the COVID-19 shutdown, or even busier, as demands for their services have increased.

Employers such as Price Chopper and Market 32 are even hiring in this climate.”

Here’s What It’s Like Inside a Chip Foundry During the COVID-19 Pandemic

“‘Ironically, one of the safest places to be right now is in a cleanroom,’ points out Thomas Sonderman, president of SkyWater Technology, in Bloomington, Minn.

Like every business, semiconductor foundries like SkyWater and GlobalFoundries have had to make some pretty radical changes to their operations in order to keep their workers safe and comply with new government mandates, but there are some challenges unique to running a 24/7 chip-making operation.”


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