“If there’s anything this pandemic has taught me, it is that times like these bring out the best in humanity,” said Amy Parker, Business Development Manager for Portage Economic Development Corporation (Portage EDC).
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected both large and small businesses in ways unlike anything seen in recent times. In the wake of this crisis, the Parker and the staff at Portage EDC have taken strong initiative to aid the community in any way they are able.
While the pandemic has affected some of Portage EDC’s projects, the organization has shifted focus on connecting various local companies together during this tumultuous time and finding ways to help them move forward.
“With the current pandemic, the progress of our economic development efforts has been affected. However, we have adjusted to ensure that we are still operating to serve business in the Portage area,” Parker said. “While economic development typically involves meeting with businesses in person, social distancing and the overall current state of operations has required us to use alternate methods like Zoom and phone calls. Despite all of this, our mission remains the same.”
Parker further elaborated that her role involves being a connector and facilitator between companies so that they can continue to have access to the necessary help and resources needed to safely operate during this time, including hand sanitizer and face masks. She’s even taken on another vital role as some of her fellow colleagues joked --“the sanitizer mask pusher.”
“If there is a company that’s really struggling, we reach out to them, ask what we can do to help, and see who we can connect them to in order to meet their needs,” Parker said.
Portage EDC has taken steps to ensure that local businesses are able to sustain themselves during this crisis. For instance, MonoSol LLC donated 55-gallon barrels of hand sanitizer to both the Portage Fire Department and Portage Police Department, which were available to the public for free, along with copious donations of disposable gloves.
“Portage is a community filled with individuals ready to help each other when times get tough,” Parker said. “Everything from the ways local companies have responded, to how places like hospitals are tirelessly operating, to even simple donations made by citizens, it demonstrates the heart that people of Portage have.”
As the month of June approaches, Portage EDC is more determined than ever to do whatever it can to support local businesses. The connections made during this time will be important moving forward.
“Seeing the ways people and organizations have given back gives me hope for the future,” Parker said. “The best part of working for Portage EDC is being a small piece of the solution and seeing the good will of so many people.”
Portage EDC serves to provide full support of the development, growth, success, attraction, and innovation of businesses in Portage. To learn more about the organization and their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit portagein.org.