Communities that want to support local businesses during COVID-19 have had no "playbook" they can turn to in these unprecedented times. But as communities try, fail, and succeed, they can provide other communities with ideas and wisdom.
During summer 2020, Extension community economics educator Rani Bhattacharyya partnered with Tom Leighton, economic development specialist with Stantec, to tell the stories of four communities that focused on business retention when the pandemic hit Minnesota in March 2020. These case studies were published in September.
“From clearinghouses to shop local campaigns, these four communities acted fast, took risks, and really listened to understand what businesses needed to cope during hard times,” says Bhattacharyya. “A consistent theme we heard was that local leaders were keyed into business needs from the start and stayed in touch throughout the crisis.”