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Partnership serves as ‘go-to’ resource for local business

PHOTO PROVIDED This file photo shows the staff of the Clinton County Economic Partnership, from left, Administrative Assistant Lisa Engel, Chamber/Tourism Director Julie Brennan, President & CEO Mike Flanagan, and Leadership Clinton County/Enterprise Zone Coordinator April Bittner.

As Clinton County, Pennsylvania and the nation continue to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of information available for businesses and nonprofit organizations to consider can be overwhelming. The Clinton County Economic Partnership (CCEP) is a trusted resource for information and has been helping local businesses and organizations work through these considerations.

“There are at least a dozen different COVID-19-related grant and loan programs that have been or are currently being offered to support financial relief for businesses impacted by the pandemic,” says Partnership President & CEO Mike Flanagan. “There are operating guidelines – which have been different for each stage of the reopening process and which are constantly being updated – that business owners and nonprofit groups are required to follow to help assure the safety of employees as well as the public. All of these changes are new considerations and have occurred just in the past three months.”

Flanagan says the pandemic has literally impacted all businesses, but at different levels. Under the state’s emergency disaster declaration, some were required to totally shut down operations, while others were able to continue to operate but under specific restrictions. And while Clinton County has moved into the least restrictive reopening phase, there continues to be guidelines that businesses must follow.

Since mid-March, the Partnership has been in daily contact with members of the business community, providing the latest updates and information via email and by phone. The Partnership also created a Coronavirus Resources page on its website, www.ClintonCountyInfo.com, where local, state and federal COVID-19-related information is posted. In addition, Partnership members were surveyed on two different occasions to help gauge the impact of the pandemic on the business community.

“We’ve provided guidelines and applications for the different grant and loan programs, state and federal business operating guidelines, information on upcoming legislation that affects businesses, signs businesses can use to inform customers about their operating procedures, details on informational webinars, even information on local businesses who have job openings,” says Flanagan. “We’ve also answered many questions and researched information for specific businesses. We continue to keep our members up-to-date on a daily basis with the end goal being that our local businesses will weather this storm.”

As more and more businesses began to reopen, the Partnership initiated a no-cost “Support Clinton County Business – Member Spotlight” advertising campaign to promote local businesses on social media. Partnership members provide a brief description of their business and several photographs, and that information is posted on the Clinton County Economic Partnership Facebook page as well as the Clinton County Visitors Bureau Facebook page. To date, more than 50 area businesses have appeared in the Spotlight.

With oversight by a 15-member Operating Board, the Clinton County Economic Partnership is a private nonprofit corporation that promotes and supports the economic well-being of the local business community and Clinton County overall. The umbrella for the Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, the Tourist Promotion Agency and the Leadership Clinton County initiative, the Partnership’s focus is on economic and industrial development, tourist promotion, and leadership development. For more information, contact the Partnership at 570-748-5782 or visit their office at 212 North Jay Street, Lock Haven.

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