What does it mean for a business to be resilient? It means being prepared to deal with changes or economic shocks that come your way. What is an economic shock? An economic shock may be a natural disaster (e.g. fire, earthquake, or extreme weather) or a man-made disaster such as a utility disruption. It may even be a purely economic event such as the closure of a large business. It may not be possible to be prepared to deal with every type of event. However some basic preparation as well as preparing for events that are likely to happen can help. MCEDD has supported development of the resources listed to the right to encourage businesses to prepare in advance and to be ready to respond if an economic shock or event occurs.
The vision for the MCEDD region is a thriving economy supporting diverse business opportunities that act in harmony with the area’s rural qualities, values and natural resources. Shocks, whether natural or human caused, can challenge this vision. Therefore, MCEDD considers economic resiliency a key component in the overall development of the regional strategy. Themes of resiliency are integrated into the concepts, work plans and project priorities. MCEDD will continue to play a role in implementing specific actions to bolster the long-term economic durability of the region and establishing information networks among stakeholders in the region to facilitate regular communications and collaborate on existing and potential future challenges.
In 2019, MCEDD conducted an assessment of effective response strategies to recent economic shocks. A report outlined the assessment, identified areas for improvement, and outlined opportunities to enhance tools and services to support the resiliency of the region. The recommendations in the report were a good foundation for us to build off when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020. One of the recommendations here and in our strategy is to establish information networks and facilitate regular communications.
In March 2020, in partnership with the Oregon Governor’s Regional Solutions staff, MCEDD convened the Mid-Columbia Economic Resiliency Team to facilitate distribution of COVID-19 information and resources among regional partners.