| Special to The News-Press
The CARES Act has provided funding for the Southwest Florida Regional Planning Council, (SWFRPC), to assess the impacts of COVID 19, identify the needs for economic recovery, and develop a resiliency plan for the region. Your input is vital for a full economic recovery of our region.
That is the easy part.
The difficult challenge is participation as business owners, managers and staff beleaguered by this horrible pandemic. With your help, we are in the unique position to reach out to the federal government and let them know the basic issues of this pandemic as they relate to our businesses and families.
I know there have been an abundance of surveys and there is value in each one. There has been much valuable data collected that will testify to the struggles we all share in business and everyday life. There has not been dialogue as to the direct everyday effects on our businesses, their staffs and their owners. We would like to provide that information and you can be a key component of that effort.
As a former Mayor and Councilman in Cape Coral, youth sports coach and business owner as well, I can see many challenges that supersede even the most daunting concerns of all of us. Our worries from school related illness to work related illness, backlogs and revenue shortages and even, simply, having a night out for dinner or a movie without fear of illness are with us every day.
We can discuss the basic affects of this pandemic so that we can learn more about how to avoid or dampen the blow in future events. The good news is that our pharmaceutical companies are working very hard to formulate a vaccine. What we also know is that the entrepreneurial spirit of the community is positioned to succeed with whatever support can be provided. The help that you can provide in answering three questions could be invaluable for determining future resiliency in our business community.
While there are funding opportunities for struggling business, oftentimes, small business has difficulty in submitting successfully for these funds. We don’t have direct funds for dispersal, but we do have a resource page on our website and we do encourage everybody to review these resources and submit where possible. On the website, you will also see the three questions we would like you to answer. While we do ask the type of business, we do not ask for names.
Please go to our website at www.swfrpc.org and complete the survey. After you have completed the three questions please submit them and the answers will come directly to me. You can send an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with any comments or questions. Also please feel free to share this website and survey. We would like as much input as possible.
The SW Florida Regional Planning Council, (SWFRPC), is an agency that monitors quality of life issues every day. It is uniquely qualified to help gather information for the economic success of this region. That is, in fact, why the Federal Government has entrusted this agency with this task. I am very proud to be a part of this effort and in conjunction with the SWFRPC and, more importantly, the communities that take part, we can strive to mitigate the damages of this pandemic and hope to limit them in the future.
Thank you for your assistance in making this the great community it has always been and helping to secure its future for our children.
James D. Burch is the Disaster Recovery Coordinator for the SW Florida Regional Planning Council.