Let's Go Strong Into Going Green
Updated on 6/25/20
Lancaster County! You did it! We are finally going “Green” and I, for one, can’t wait to embrace it with gusto (and, of course, all the appropriate protocols!).
To state the obvious, this has been an excruciating journey, made all-the-more-real when we look back just a few months and realize the economic success and potential that was evident throughout Lancaster County.
None-the-less, a look back also gives us reason to be proud, to celebrate the resiliency of Lancaster County business, to be inspired by the innovation that took place in all sectors of business, and to acknowledge the extraordinary efforts of those on the front-lines that kept this community moving forward with intention and safety.
Yet, as our re-opening enters a new, more robust phase, we are reminded that not all businesses made it through. That thousands of Lancaster Countians lost their jobs during this extremely difficult time. That lives were lost and many of our neighbors fell ill. And that financial hardship still abounds for businesses and individuals alike that make it clear that “Green” doesn’t immediately equate to "all is well." There is much work to be done.
Today (Friday, June 26), however, does mark the return of hope and a horizon that looks promising. And we need to lean full-in to restoring our County’s economic health, while ensuring our safe future.
To be clear, this “Green” phase will still require us all to prioritize a balancing act. The understandable pent-up demand for business to accelerate, for parties and picnics to embrace the summer weather and for a return to “normal,” must still be cautioned with the reality that the virus remains among us and it is imperative that we find a way to safely live with it.
Please do not take “Green” as a free-ride to drop all protocols. Please do not take “Green” as an excuse to stop wearing a mask, stop social distancing or stop washing your hands. And, please don’t take “Green” as an excuse to forgot all the lessons we learned during this pandemic – because we never want to have to live those lessons again (I, for one, don’t care if I ever hear the word “pivot” again!). Let’s put all our energy into looking forward, safely and with optimism.
As we have done throughout this crisis, the Chamber pledges to continue to provide resources to help. To date, we’ve helped close to 7,500 people through the 72 webinars we’ve offered since mid-March; we’ve reached out to more than 1,450 business to “check-in” and offer assistance where needed; we’ve revamped our website to serve as a one-stop-shop for COVID-19, business-related resources; and, in full partnership with the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, we’ve launched the Economic Recovery Plan, our County’s roadmap for economic success (sign up to receive the newsletter now at www.recoverylancaster.com).
And there’s nothing about “Green” that lessens our commitment or sense of urgency to serve. A sampling of current opportunities are as follows:
*Free Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) Kits. To date, more than 3,000 companies (with 100 or less employees) have taken advantage of this FREE program to secure PPE to assist with a safe reopening of your business. If you qualify and haven’t received your kit yet, click here to get registered! If you already signed up and know of other businesses that have not yet, pass on the word! The program has been made possible by the Lancaster County Commissioners via federal CARES Act funding;
*Sample Employee Manual/Updated for COVID-19. For years, the Chamber, in partnership with Barley Snyder law firm, has provided a sample employee manual for companies seeking guidance on appropriate workplace policies. Now, the document has been updates with the latest guidance on COVID-19. Contact email@example.com for information.
*We have a packed schedule of virtual events to help you and your business as we move into this next phase. Check out our full calendar of events here.
*We have also helped coordinate an assortment of pre-recorded video and presentations on Best Practices for a variety of industries ranging from restaurants, to retail, to accomodations, to construction, and more. Find those at www.recoverylancaster.com/business-guidance.
As we enter this "Green" Phase, I have another favor to ask of you all: Please take some time to think about how you and your business can embrace “Green” by Thinking Local. Take a look at your vendor list and prioritize local relationships and opportunities for purchases; put down your computer mouse and head out to a local retailer to buy that office product, clothing item or knick-knack; and, finally, please make plans for a celebratory dinner (take-out or otherwise) next weekend. It’s the perfect win-win!
Again, congratulations Lancaster County. We are in “Green” because of you. With all of your help and dedication, let’s be sure we stay there.
With hopes for prosperity & good health,
President & CEO of the Lancaster Chamber