MORGANTOWN, W.Va., May 22, 2020 — The Morgantown Area Partnership has launched a Back to Business—Responsibly Toolkit for local businesses who look to reopen when permitted by state government. It’s available on the Partnership’s website – morgantownpartnership.com – and can be downloaded by any business.
“The toolkit is designed to provide businesses with quick, easy access to reopening requirements while also listing local and state resources to get the additional cleaning supplies, facemasks and other items necessary to open responsibly,” said Russell Rogerson, President & CEO of the Partnership. “There is a lot of information out there regarding the reopening process and we wanted to assist our businesses by providing condensed and factual information with resources for additional assistance.”
The Partnership has hardly been idle during the COVID-19 shutdown and has added programs, services, and information for local businesses throughout the past two months. The Partnership has put nearly $20,000 back into the local economy with its Gift Card Stimulus Program. Virtual Learning Labs also continue to be hosted online to support the local business community.
“The Morgantown Area Partnership is the community’s primary business advocacy and economic development organization,” Rogerson states. “We’re here to champion for business. Reopening in a responsible way to keep everyone safe and healthy is important. That’s why we’ve been working relentlessly to provide the right resources to our business community.”
The Partnership staff have personally contacted more than 400 area businesses in addition to surveying local businesses to find out what they need to survive and thrive in this most difficult situation. “We will continue to stay in close touch with our businesses to identify ways to provide assistance moving forward,” Rogerson said.
Back to Business—Responsibly Toolkit
The Partnership’s Back to Business—Responsibly Toolkit is a guide featuring providers of items deemed necessary for reopening responsibly. Local vendors that are manufacturing, selling, or installing PPE, face coverings, cleaning and sanitizing supplies and services, and printing services are listed in the Toolkit. It also acts as a compiled resource for Governor Justice’s West Virginia Strong – The Comeback phases and features CDC planning guidance and sign templates for reopening businesses.
Gift Card Stimulus Program
The Gift Card Stimulus Program was launched to support area restaurants going through operational changes during the height of the pandemic shutdowns. As of Monday, May 18, 515 restaurant gift cards were purchased through the program with an expected $20,000 dollars reinvested into the economy. 75 cards remain to be purchased at map-wv.org/gift-card-stimulus.
“Sales were down more than 60% at Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, and the Gift Card Stimulus Program helped provide us with cash that we needed to pay our bills, pay our employees, and operate our business,” says Ryan Niceler, Director of Operations WV at Taziki’s. “We will be forever grateful for their support during these scary and uncertain times.”
The program was originally seeded with Partnership funds and eventually carried through to success with six Donating Sponsors: Summit Community Bank, Arrow Engineering, Ascent Consulting & Engineering, Huntington Steel, Ford Lincoln of Morgantown and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat of Morgantown.
Virtual Learning Labs
The Partnership decided to take events online with Virtual Learning Labs, educational webinars hosted by Partnership members for businesses, nearly weekly since April. Upcoming events include Managing Stress in Uncertain Times on Wednesday, May 27.
A list of previous Virtual Learning Labs can be watched on the Partnership’s Business Resource Page at map-wv.org/covid-19.
About the Morgantown Area Partnership:
The Morgantown Area Partnership is a business organization that focuses on wealth growth for all entities in the Morgantown MSA. It is a public/private alliance encompassing four entities including the Morgantown Area Chamber of Commerce, the Monongalia County Development Authority, the Morgantown Area Economic Partnership and the Campus Neighborhoods Revitalization Corporation (Sunnyside Up). The Partnership takes a holistic approach to economic growth and focuses on creative, strategic solutions to our growing community. Learn more at morgantownpartnership.com.
President & CEO, Morgantown Area Partnership
Phone: 304-292-3311 ext. 1010