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CEDC holds annual meeting, assesses past year

Oct 19, 2020 1:00 pm
Natasha Vaughn is reporting for Columbia-Greene Media the Columbia Economic Development Corporation took stock of its work and the progress made in 2019 during its annual meeting held October 14. Corporation members and speakers spoke about the impact COVID has had on the local economy and on local businesses. Columbia County had the lowest unemployment rate statewide in 2019, averaging 3.1 percent unemployment, CEDC president and CEO F. Michael Tucker said. The amount of sales tax collected by the county increased by more than 8 percent from 2018, he said. Local organizations, companies and governments were awarded in 2019, more than four times as much in Regional Economic Development Council funding than in 2018. Beginning in March, the CEDC collaborated with the county Chamber of Commerce and the county Board of Supervisors on the Columbia Comeback Initiative to help provide information to local businesses and nonprofits during the pandemic. Tucker said during that time CEDC made more than 30 small business and rapid recovery loans totaling more than $600,000, and provided companies with more than $25,000 in technical training. With help from local organizations and donors, the CEDC supplied more than $250,000 in small-business recovery grants to more than 120 small businesses by mid-April, Tucker said. Columbia-Greene Community College President Carlee Drummer was the keynote speaker at the meeting. In her remarks she focused on how different the college looks this year due to COVID and how the needs of the students have changed. The college responded to the job needs highlighted by the pandemic by creating certificate programs, Drummer said. As a result, Columbia-Greene is developing micro-credentials in telehealth, workplace professionalism, entrepreneurship, leadership and hospitality management. Read the full story at HudsonValley360 [dot] com.