Local officials are working together to "recover, reopen" and "restart" the Hudson Valley after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced “Restarting Dutchess,” an initiative to re-open the local economy and government operations.

Molinaro has been working closely with Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus and Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan to ensure reopening happens on a regional basis. The executives talk twice a week, one focused on county operations and the other focused on economic development.

“Over these past months, we have been working 24/7 to address the public health impact of COVID-19, while at the same time providing guidance, support and assistance to our local businesses and organizations who have been impacted by the shutdown of much of the economy. While Dutchess County Government remains laser focused on public health and safety, we are also working aggressively to ensure a successful transition to full County Government operations and reigniting our local economy. This will be a careful balancing act – enabling the acceleration of economic activity while carefully monitoring the health data to immediately respond to any spikes in infection or hospitalization numbers. It will be a very fluid process as we adapt to a ‘new normal’ for the economy and Dutchess County Government," Molinaro said ina statement.

Live Updates: Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley

Led by Molinaro and County Legislators Randy Johnson and Dierdre Houston, Dutchess officials are working with the county’s 30 municipalities as they devise and implement their respective plans for reopening.

In Ulster County, Executive Ryan announced the launch of his Ulster County Resilience Economic initiative. The goal is to accelerate and coordinate Ulster County’s economic development efforts in the wake of the pandemic.

The plan includes three main lines of effort "Recover, Reopen and Realign"

Recover

  • Work with the Ulster County Recovery Taskforce to ensure a coordinated and compassionate response to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on all workers and families
  • Ulster County Office of Economic Development and the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance (UCEDA) to help businesses navigate federal and state recovery resources
  • Ulster County businesses have already received over $50 million in federal loans

Reopen

  • Industry-specific working groups tasked with helping businesses develop and implement reopen protocols by sector
  • Business mentors to help guide businesses through the process of reopening planning, provide technical assistance for business model adjustment, and deliver any other needed support
  • Ulster County Office of Employment and Training to lead effort to support job seekers and businesses looking to rebuild their workforce

Realign

  • Convene joint meetings of the UCEDA and Workforce Development Board to identify key workforce development needs
  • Ulster 2040 recommendations for county-led investments in targeted growth industries
  • Seek to work closely with the IDA to re-energize Ulster’s economy

“Now more than ever, Ulster County government must move at the speed of business,” Ryan said. “My plan to recover, reopen, and realign our local economy requires us to take bold action, and to all work quickly and collaboratively. As we continue to battle the public health risks of COVID-19, we must also move aggressively with all the tools at our disposal to ensure we are ready to safely reopen our businesses and get our economy going again.”

Officials believe the initiative will support Ulster County businesses and workers through the crisis and ensure the county emerges stronger on the other side.

Orange County Executive Neuhaus says to anticipate covering your face when businesses reopen and social distancing will still need to be practiced. He added there are talks of limiting the number of people allowed in restaurants

Live Updates: Coronavirus in the Hudson Valley