Welcome                                                                        Terence Roberts, TATT Chairman

Initiative/COVID-19 Updates

Creating Safer Environments—Phillip Lowery, Johnson Controls, Inc.

  • Click here for Creating Safer Environments presentation
  • Johnson Controls started in 1885 by Warren Johnson, who is credited with inventing the thermostat
  • 130 years later, it’s in 150 countries with over 120,000 employees worldwide
  • Johnson Controls has a presence in 50% of U.S. hospitals
  • Was commissioned to convert Detroit TCF to a COVID-19 treatment facility with 1000 beds in 7 days
  • In New York, JCI was tasked with doubling hospital capacity in two weeks to offload non-acute patient care
  • Prisons are problematic, with limited infirmary space and confined living quarters, have been working on solutions
  • How do we reopen? Click here for solutions and strategies for re-entering your building
  • Key acquisitions of tech companies expand JCI’s ability to respond quickly
  • Most applications are made to require very little retrofitting of existing HVAC, using three methods: filtering the air, ionizing the air, or cleaning the air using UV light
  • Most cost-effective method for a small company is to focus on the occupied part of the building, using a system made for the existing HVAC to disinfect the air
  • Landlords should be responsible for building air quality

Bringing Back the Burg – Allen Smith, Spartanburg Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Level of investment in Spartanburg County: 60% of investment in the region and 25% of the state is in Spartanburg County
  • $224 million from a penny tax will be used to build a new county courthouse as well as a joint city/county facility
  • $365 million economic impact from tourism, 21% growth of new hotel space—great momentum going when COVID-19 hit
  • “Bringing Back the Burg”—task force representing geographic, racial, and economic diversity
  • Very intentional about composition of the task force and making this a data-based approach
  • Looked at historical data back to 2017 to ensure there are hard numbers on metrics
  • Upcoming press conference:
    • Partnership with Spartanburg Regional
    • Businesses that are safe for customers and employees will be the ones that make it
    • Combating COVID-19 together: to ensure accountability for public health, businesses will display a poster listing health/safety measures
  • Back the Burg fund: Chamber contributed $100K, and other organizations and entities have stepped up as well, to aid small businesses that were not able to secure funding through federal programs such as PPP
  • Tourism is a big focus—sports tourism is a big driver, recently recruited NCAA softball tournament; tourism advertising is limited to drive time
  • Closing down Main Street to give space to outdoor dining for downtown restaurants has been a huge success—two restaurants would probably have closed without that

 

TATT Updates                                                          Dean Hybl & Sharon Purvis

  • Virtual Upstate Listening Tour
  • Upstate Food Access Map—in collaboration with Clemson University College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences and the United Way, Ten at the Top has created a map of food resources across the Upstate, including food pantries, agencies providing grocery assistance, hot meal and in-home meal providers

County Updates                                                 Sharon Purvis

  • Roy Costner, Pickens County Council:

Encouraging: I am encouraged by the spirit and desire of the people in our county to “get back to work” and to support local businesses.

Challenging: Our challenge is to continue to help our “at risk” population while doing all we can to work with our community leaders to strengthen our economy over the next several months.

  • Missy House, City Administrator, Inman (Spartaburg County):

Encouraging: We have been able to keep our whole staff and offer flex scheduling for some folks.

Challenging: We are in the midst of budget season. With a small budget and a lot of services we provide, it is hard to know how to plan for the future. We know our budget will be hit, it’s just a question of how much and the ability to deliver all of our current services.

  • Liz Seman, Greenville County Council:

Encouraging: My encouraging note would be that we are still seeing economic development opportunities coming through the pipeline – both expansions of existing companies and new companies wanted to locate in the county.

Challenging: The challenging note would be the balancing act all counties and municipalities as faced with as we work towards re-opening while maintaining community health.  This applies to everything from opening our parks to little league to holding in-person council meetings again.

  • Tony Brown, Envision Williamston (Anderson County):

Encouraging: One thing that has been encouraging is that we have some 2 new entrepreneurial small businesses that have decided to open.  One opened at the end of April, and one will open on May 30.

Challenging: One challenge is helping existing businesses transition to a new style of operating.

  • Kathy Jo Lancaster, Union County Development:

Encouraging: I’ve been very impressed by industrial companies—each had plans in place to provide a safe environment, made sure employees had access to resources for unemployment, etc. A lot of them changed product line to make PPE—Standard Textile, Kemper, Milliken. They’ve been very innovative, and they will continue to add those product lines. I’ve always said there’s power in partnerships, and I believe that now more than ever.

Challenging: Rural counties like ours have been hard hit, and a lot of that is limits to resources, healthcare, etc. A lot of business have closed their doors, but as we move forward, I think more of those businesses will reopen. We had some businesses that hung in there, kept their doors open, did curbside service.

  • Heather Jones, Greenwood Partnership Alliance:

Encouraging: We had over $40 million of projects on the Council’s agenda Tuesday night and have several other new projects moving through the process.  Our organization has been impressed with the activity  Greenwood County has seen over the past two months.

Challenging: We are seeing budget concerns at all levels-government, industry, small business, non-profits, etc.  There is a trickle down associated with this, so there is anxiety about the coming FY for many organizations and businesses still.

  • Amanda Munyan, Laurens County Chamber:

Encouraging: A few Covid related task forces are developing to support collaborative efforts for recovery & the future success of Laurens County; the businesses, organizations, and residents.  We are excited about the positive attitudes and outlooks and team driven efforts across various sectors.  County leadership is ready to get back to business, taking necessary precautions for everyone’s safety.

Challenging: The fear of the unknown is a huge challenge in many areas.  I feel confident we are in a good situation to tackle this through communication and education.  We want businesses to feel confident serving their customers, shifting their business models where needed, and residents to feel comfortable patronizing these businesses.

  • Frannie Stockwell, Cherokee County Chamber:

Encouraging: One encouraging thing would be that we are starting to open back.

Challenging: One challenge is everything having to work around social distancing.

  • Mike Clary, City of Abbeville:

Encouraging: I have been encouraged by the resiliency of our local business community and by the efforts to support local small business.  At this time, most all of our Small Businesses have either reopened or are planning to in the coming weeks.  I am not aware of a single small business which has announced plans to permanently close.  Also- In a very generous gesture, Abbeville First Bank announced yesterday that they are mailing a $20 “Square Dollars” gift card to all of their customers, as part of their back to work initiative, which can be redeemed at participating local businesses.

Challenging: A major challenge has been the speed at which the Federal Relief Programs have been administered.  While they are certainly moving as quickly as possible given the circumstances, many businesses are still waiting for emergency loans and many laid off employees have yet to receive their benefits.

  • Paul Cain, Oconee County Council:

Encouraging: The Community’s response to the tornado has been incredible; so much debris has been cleaned up, and the outpouring of support has been inspiring.

Challenging: The biggest near-term challenge for Oconee County is sustaining the recovery from the tornado. Now that most of the outside relief organizations have departed, the local response is critical to finish the mission.

Adjourn                                                                                    Terence Roberts