Chamber to take active leadership role in local recovery task force
At its April 21 meeting, the Board of Directors of the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce met to review the local response to Governor Evers’ recent orders, including plans for prudently reopening our local economy informed with data from local public health and city officials. COVID-19 is both a public health and an economic crisis, meaning a carefully balanced approach is critical both to prevent the spread of the disease and to address the devastating impact on many businesses.
The Board received the latest information from representatives of the health department and the health care system on local metrics and strategies for preventing the spread, expanding testing, PPE availability, and intermediate-term expectations for COVID-19's impact on our daily lives. We also talked about the devasting economic effects on many businesses, and the urgency to take action to build a orderly plan to restart our economy as quickly as possible.
After a thorough and wide-ranging discussion, the board reached a strong consensus to take a significant and active role in a new community-wide COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force. The Task Force will include key community leaders and organizations across the government, education and the private sector. As its work gets underway, we'll keep you informed and provide opportunities to be involved.
If you are interested in being involved in this effort, click the link below (but first, review the organizational chart at the end of this page):
Economic Recovery Task Force volunteer form
New: Economic Recovery Task Force web page
Click here to learn about and stay up to date on the Task Force
Chamber Virtual Town Hall: Dale Peters describes impetus behind the Task Force's creation
Eau Claire City Manager Dale Peters joined Chamber Board Chair Scott Biederman on our Thursday, April 23, Virtual Town Hall to talk about the Task Force and ask for involvement from Chamber members:
"It’s a taskforce that is a thought product of the Incident Command Process: Kathryn Shauf the county administrator, myself, Mike Golat from Altoona, the economic development agencies that are involved our health department and many local business leaders have been involved with this as well," Peters said. "The idea is to pull resources and efforts across different organizations and different talent from across the area so that we can emerge from this in an orderly successful, safe and hopefully a stronger position."
Peters stressed that, at it's core, it involves "working with health care officials and health care professionals and health professionals and the incident command structure, we want to provide consistent evidence base guidance to the business community in how we can incrementally return to work and our work activities. We also want to develop ideas and initiatives to restart and promote specific sectors of our economy and our economy as a whole."
Click here to view the Virtual Town Hall (60:00)
US Senator Tammy Baldwin joined us for the first 30 minutes on federal economic relief
Dale Peters and Scott Biederman talked about the Task Force in the second segment
Thank you to WIN Technology and its Perigon system for making these Town Halls possible
Here is more information about the objectives and guiding principles for the Task Force:
Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force
In order to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our healthcare systems from being overwhelmed, physical distancing practices and closures were required. These measures have significantly impacted our economy at the national, state and local level. As we prepare to reopen our economy, it should be done with a strategic, data driven approach to make sure we do not reopen the economy so quickly that we overwhelm our ability to contain disease spread and the healthcare systems to handle it. We do not want to undo all that we have done and we do not want to start over.
Reopening our economy in a way the minimizes the impact of disease and protects employers, employees, residents and visitors will be challenging and require coordination and cooperation. The formation of the Chippewa Valley COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force is an effort to pull together resources, organizations and talent from across the Chippewa Valley to help us emerge from this crisis in an orderly, successful, safe and stronger position than other regions.
Objectives of the Task Force include:
1. The physical distancing and closure orders are a direct response to pleas from our healthcare providers to slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep our healthcare system from being overwhelmed, thereby preventing widespread loss of life and economic loss.
2. Physical distancing and closure policies have slowed the spread of COVID-19, however, they come at a heavy financial price for our local economy, including our healthcare systems, and economically these policies cannot be sustained indefinitely.
3. In order to relax the social distancing and closure orders and reopen the economy, it should be done with a strategic, data driven approach to make sure we do not reopen the economy so quickly that we overwhelm our ability to contain disease spread and the healthcare system. We do not want to undo all that we have done and we do not want to start over.
4. The State and Federal government are providing parameters on when and what can and cannot be done at the local level. These parameters are largely out of our control and not the focus of this task force. Rather, the task force will focus on how to best re-establish our local economy using best practices, cooperation and collaboration within the parameters provided.
See the organization chart below for a top level view of how the Task Force will be organized:
Eau Claire Chamber
The Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce has more than 1,200 members.