Week in Review: March 30 – April 3, 2020
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CEG IN THE NEWS
REGIONAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT NEWS
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo is extending his order for New Yorkers to stay indoors as much as possible and for all non-essential businesses to have employees work from home through April 15.
Cuomo announced the two-week extension at a press conference Sunday morning.”
“It was just a thread of optimism, but worth grabbing hold of: The Albany metro isn’t likely to feel the full weight of any economic collapse caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The sliver of hope came via Brookings Institution, a research group in Washington, D.C., which crunched data to see how significant a job share five industry sectors have in nearly 400 U.S. metropolitan statistical areas. The five sectors recently were cited by Mark Zandi, chief economist at research firm Moody’s Analytics, as “most at risk” from the pandemic.”
“Albany County Executive Dan McCoy announced Monday that the governor’s office has agreed to let industrial development agencies (IDAs) issue quick loans and grants to help small and medium-sized businesses get through the mandatory shutdowns that have put them out of work. He said he’s already working with the county Legislature, IDA and Capital Resource Corporation to get a relief program up and running quickly.
It’s unclear how much relief may be granted, but in a letter sent to the governor on Thursday McCoy requested waivers for IDAs to issue direct loans to businesses of up to $50,000 each.”
“Local tissue manufacturer Essity recently donated 3,600 rolls of much-needed toilet paper to Living Resources, a nonprofit agency that provides housing services and support to more than 300 individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities and those suffering from brain injuries.
The delivery of the 100 cases of toilet paper took place at the nonprofit agency’s Albany location.”
“The rest of the world may be at a standstill amid COVID-19 fears, but for Twin County farmers, dealing with uncertainty is part of life.
“You have to be an optimist if you’re a farmer. We deal with mother nature every year. I think in some ways farmers are more prepared to deal with situations like this because of that,” James Story of Story Farms in Catskill said.”
“A wide array of Capital Region businesses and nonprofits are having to temporarily lay off workers amid the coronavirius outbreak.
For weeks, restaurants have cut staff but now local hotels and non-profits have also been forced to furlough workers amid Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s stringent social-distancing measures that went into effect on March 18 and forced the closures of bars, restaurants, casinos and theaters.”
“Heidi Knoblauch is seeing both sides of the coronavirus shutdown as the owner of Plumb Oyster Bar in Troy and as a Pioneer Bank employee helping small businesses figure out the best options.
That position gives Knoblauch a unique perspective.
“The Albany International Airport this week completed its most ambitious construction project in years, but the coronavirus pandemic has rendered it unnecessary for the time being.
A $40 million, 1,000-space parking garage has been finished ahead of an April 1 deadline, but airport CEO Phil Calderone said it will not open to the public — the airport is consolidating parking options to save on utility costs at a time when passenger traffic is down as much as 90%.”
“AgroChem Inc. in Saratoga Springs is selling more than 3,000 gallons a week of its newest product, a hand sanitizing gel.
Demand is so strong, the plant manager, marketing staff and product planner all have jumped into to help on the packaging line, said president Rob DeMarco.”
“Regeneron Pharmaceuticals will make a portion of at least 500,000 coronavirus test kits at its East Greenbush manufacturing complex and ship them to hospitals and test centers across New York state.
The drug developer is donating 100% of materials and labor needed to make the kits, which contain a liquid and tube needed to preserve patient nose and throat swabs until they can be tested for presence of the new coronavirus. The donation has an estimated value of $1 million.”
“Gov. Andrew Cuomo and state legislators reached a deal this week on a budget that would reduce spending as the state expects to lose billions of dollars in revenue because of the coronavirus.
To stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, many businesses across the state have been forced to shut down. More than 400,000 people have filed an initial unemployment insurance claim in New York over the past two weeks.”
“Initial claims for unemployment in the Capital Region surged by 2,678 percent last week compared to a year earlier, the state Labor Department reported Thursday. Nearly 370,000 people statewide filed for unemployment insurance, the department said, more than triple the level of a week earlier.
Nationwide, filings totaled 6.6 million last week, the U.S. Labor Department reported, double the figure of a week earlier.”