The president/CEO/ executive director of The AGENCY and the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Stacey Duncan is on the weekly local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up Sunday at 6 am on 99.1 The Whale to talk about what's been going on since the coronavirus outbreak impacted the region.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Stacey Duncan of The Agency

Duncan says local business leaders at the beginning of the year had just come off compiling a very promising report on economic growth in the community, growing industrial opportunities and the expansion of higher education opportunities and business partnerships with Binghamton University and SUNY Broome when the coronavirus pandemic hit, pulling the rug out from under everything.

Duncan says work right now is concentrating on assistance for local businesses, especially the small businesses that rely on foot traffic for their livelihood to try to help them weather the pandemic.

A task force is currently working on helping to get the local economy restarted once it is deemed safe as well as organizing loan opportunities.

Duncan says emergency loan programs are being expedited and the program has been adjusted to waive certain fees and closing costs.

In spite of mechanisms that are being put into place to assist businesses, realistically many businesses will not survive.  She says, according some industry studies she has seen, it could be another six months after businesses and facilities like museums open back up before the public begins to get back into the pre-pandemic emergency mindset to be comfortable going places.

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For information about loan programs or operating during the emergency directives, business owners can contact The AGENCY at theagency-ny.com or the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce at greaterbinghamtonchamber.com to get a copy of the business toolkit that the economic task force has put together or call (607) 584-9000.  Duncan says there are people at both offices able to assist residents and business in Broome and surrounding counties.