WATCH: COVID-19 Economic Impacts and Mitigation in Rural Communities webinar

The Western Governors’ Association hosted the webinar, COVID-19 Economic Impacts and Mitigation in Rural Communities.

The webinar provided information about federal resources available to rural communities to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. It also explored how agencies are working with partners and stakeholders to alleviate impacts on rural residents, protect local businesses and help rural economies rebound from this crisis.

You may watch the webinar in its entirety below; following are highlights from the panelists:

  • Bette Brand, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development, U.S. Department of Agriculture: “It’s inspiring to see people taking charge and giving back. A 3D printing company is printing 100 face shields per hour ... a distillery in Colorado is making hand sanitizer and providing it to police, doctors, stores, and the fire department.”
  • Dan Nordberg, Regional Administrator, Region VIII, U.S. Small Business Administration: “The SBA set up the Paycheck Protection Program, a $349 billion program, in seven days. This effort was a huge undertaking in an unprecedented situation, resulting in a rolling regulatory environment.”
  • Evelyn Lim, Regional Administrator, Region VIII, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: “Homeless service providers are on the frontlines. They need personal protective equipment and other equipment to care for populations, so they must coordinate closely with officials.”
  • Susan Beckman, Regional Director, Region VIII,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: “When this crisis is over and we move into recovery, our experience needs to provide us with lessons. We must build out good healthcare in rural areas, because good healthcare is key to economic health.”
  • Greg Sopkin, Regional Administrator, Region VIII, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: “We’re approving disinfectants used to kill the virus and have expedited the approval of 350 disinfectants.”
  • Jeanine Petterson, Mitigation Director, Region VIII, Federal Emergency Management Agency: “Recovery is more than simply repairing damaged structures. The restoration and strengthening of systems and assets are critical to long-term sustainability.”

The webinar is hekd in conjunction with the Reimagining the Rural West Initiative of WGA Chair and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum. The Chairman’s Initiative is examining challenges and opportunities in rural economic development, infrastructure and quality of life across the region.

The Latest on the Western Governors’ COVID-19 Response

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