Companies in Northern New York began the process of restarting their operations last month, and some in Lewis County have benefited from a great idea.

The state issued stay-at-home orders three months ago in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic. This resulted in the closure of businesses classified as non-essential and placed limits on other firms declared essential.

But Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said in May that the north country could start Phase I of the reopening process, and our region has since moved into Phase III. So additional restrictions have been lifted from more companies, meaning they can cater to more customers.

The Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Naturally Lewis and Lewis County Economic Development partnered to launch the Reboot LC campaign. This offers assistance to companies as they navigate the uncertainties they’ve encountered.

“It is an initiative to provide area businesses access to a wide range of information and resources to help them not just survive the COVID-19 crisis but to put in place measures to make a successful ‘reboot’ possible when it’s over,” according to a story published April 7 by the Watertown Daily Times. “The three organizations will contribute to an advertising blitz for Reboot LC over the next three months that will allow them to support local media outlets that are also put at risk by the economic downturn caused by the pandemic. … Through the Reboot LC initiative, the county organizations hope to enable that kind of forward thinking contagious and the economic opportunities available known to turn the ideas into reality.”

One idea developed through Reboot LC was to put together care packages for businesses as they increase their operations.

“The first 10 reopening kit requests were filled on [June 12] by the Lewis County Chamber of Commerce who, with Reboot LC co-organizer Lewis County Economic Development, used funding from the county Planning Department and AmeriCU Credit Union to buy key materials for the kits,” a Watertown Daily Times article published June 12 reported. “Quantities of disposable face masks and gloves, bottles of sanitizer, no-touch infrared thermometers and 6-foot marking tape can be included in the kits that are customized to each business’s needs based on their answers in an online questionnaire. A new addition to the available materials are gallon jugs of liquid sanitizer sent by the state via the county Emergency Services Department. … To get a custom kit, small business representatives must fill out an online questionnaire and agree not to sell any of the items provided through the program.”

These kits contain some essential items that companies should have as they reopen their doors to customers. Of course, they’ll want to ensure they are following safety protocols as they once again engage members of the public.

Offering care packages is a tremendous benefit to Lewis County businesses. Custom kits will be created to suit their needs.

This demonstrates the value of the Reboot LC campaign. Organizations dedicated to expanding economic opportunities have an obligation to respond to the needs of local companies.

Those behind this initiative have proven they are up to this task, and we commend them for their innovation. We encourage agencies in other parts of the north country to find similar ways to serve their businesses during this crisis.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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