COVID-19 Impacts Albany Businesses | WAMC

COVID-19 Impacts Albany Businesses

Mar 22, 2020

With the rapidly changing COVID-19 developments, the Capitalize Albany Corporation is working on plans to assist local businesses.

Until the coronavirus threat subsides, businesses are looking to federal and state governments to alleviate the immediate economic impact and help them weather the crisis.

Sarah Reginelli is Capitalize Albany Corp. president.   "We are the city's economic development organization. And so we're really trying to extend our role of understanding the business and economic development needs of our businesses and neighborhoods and working to assemble and provide access to the partners and resources available to meet those needs. We've been seeing tremendous leadership from the governor and the mayor on the COVID-19 developments, and listening to the governor, he spoke about how the magnitude of the impact of this virus will require federal assistance. And that's not just on the health care front, that's also on the business assistance front. So the mayor has asked us to convene a working group with the Regional Chamber Local Business Improvement districts, UAlbany Small Business Development Center, and local lenders to help local businesses understand what's out there, provide more immediate nimble assistance and find ways to create new products to fill in the gaps."

Reginelli says local business are already taking a hit.   "The stories already are heartbreaking. We are hearing from businesses who are attempting to flex their business models. And this really matters to Albany into the Capital District. We heard a group of local business owners and restauranteurs talking about the businesses that this is affecting here locally, are the people who have been taking care of us for so long. These are servers and bartenders and dishwashers, but they're also hairstylists, day care workers, auto mechanics, ushers at our theatres, our trainers at the gym. These are the folks in our community that this is impacting already."

With no indication as to how hard this is going to hit and when it's all going to be over, Reginelli says Capitalize Albany has a plan.   "We are watching what the federal government is doing closely. We expect that there will be significant additional assistance announced in upcoming days and weeks on this. And we also know that the Small Business Association loan programs will play a huge role in recovery efforts. But we also know that rightly so, those programs do come with regulations and they do come with paperwork to fill out, which some of these struggling businesses will need assistance applying for, and also sort of closing the gap in the interim, between when the effects are felt and when the assistance is provided. So we will be working with the the working group that the mayor has assembled to identify short term resources, additional ways that we can get assistance to people in a more flexible nimble way in the short term."

Coronavirus Response Resources

Here are key resources that have been issued by federal and state authorities: