Welcome                                                                 Terence Roberts, TATT Chairman

Initiative/COVID-19 Updates

Arts Reopening Guide – G.P. McLeer, South Carolina Arts Alliance

  • COVID-19 has hit the arts community hard, particularly performance venues. They were the first to close, as large gatherings are essential to what they do, and will likely be the last to open as well.
  • The tourism draw of the arts community has a huge economic impact: one million attendees of concerts and festivals statewide, $12 million loss in SC
  • 95% of arts organizations have had to cancel events, and that means loss of income
  • Organizations have done online streaming events, but people don’t pay for that, so there’s no revenue
  • Federal advocacy/sharing: many artists and nonprofits have not been eligible to access loans and unemployment before, so there’s a lot of educating to do—webinars have been helpful to get information out
  • No representation in AccelerateSC, but in constant contact with them
  • The public’s willingness to gather is a large factor in how reopening will go
  • Created an Arts Reopening Guide
  • In touch with AccelerateEd to be a clearinghouse for arts education
  • Museums have some wiggle room with reopening, but field trips, artist talks, and interactive exhibits are canceled.
  • Summertime in small towns is heavily reliant on the arts for community vibrancy and bringing people to downtowns
  • Social distancing: encouraging families to bring a blanket, which becomes your personal zone.

 

TATT Updates                                                          Dean Hybl

  • County Listening Tour Updates: Cherokee, Greenwood, and Laurens are complete; dates for the others are below:

 

County Updates

Abbeville & Greenwood: Ben Calhoun, Small Business Development Center

  • For both counties, the initial response was to assess the damage
  • Pivoted to reopening guides
  • Short term, helping to reopen businesses
  • Long term, making sure that the task forces were inclusive of necessary people

Anderson: Pam Christopher, Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce

  • Working on summer school feeding program and how school will look in the fall.
  • United Way providing funds for food, more housing now.
  • 27 days with no COVID related deaths.
  • Thank you to Anmed, government, health workers.
  • Anderson University back August 19.
  • Tri-County Tech starting in August.
  • PPP $125B left to fund. Thanks to Rick Atkins.
  • Businesses rules changing with extension on deadlines on numbers of employees coming back and have extended June to December, and fully staffed from 2 years to 5 years. Some staff furloughed may not be coming back to previous counts.
  • Many EIDL loans have been processed.
  • Safe Harbor committee considering protection program for business community.

Cherokee, Union, and Spartanburg: Hannah Jarrett, United Way of the Piedmont

  • Have financially assisted over 700 people through 211, majority new to safety net system
  • 400 households provided financial assistance, most in Spartanburg, some in Cherokee, Union not heard from much but trying to let them know of benefits through radio, news, libraries, non-profits.
  • Covering more housing and utility, transportation bills.
  • United for All fund running out except in Union. EFSP Cares funding just dispersed. Past this week no funding!
  • Chamber Spartanburg shared significant rise in unemployment, 70-80% still tethered to job, so hopefully re-starting. $600 additional unemployment payments ending July 31. Working on transitioning people back to employment successfully.

Greenville: Brandy Amidon, City of Travelers Rest

  • Cautiously optimistic about budget going forward.
  • Working on placemaking options, outdoor options for dining and parks.
  • Events in June and July postponed, farmers’ market reopened.
  • Businesses for most part doing well, 1-2 might not come back or come back differently
  • Campaigns have encouraged take-out.
  • Continuing improvements to Poinsett Highway.

Laurens: Jonathan Irick, Main Street Laurens

  • Most businesses have opened back up
  • Grills grant used for tech audit, self assessment businesses, potential website
  • Board approved converting $15K facade grant to utililty grants, 20 businesses will get $750 each.
  • Working with SC festivals and events on guidelines.
  • Won community vibrancy grant for Blues festival, which has been pushed back until next May.
  • Clinton Rhythm on the Rails moved to June.
  • Trying to determine special events to help businesses.
  • Community survey about readiness, having sanitizer available, how to find supplies.
  • New restaurant opening next week. Some restaurants did rehab while shut down.

Oconee: Annie Caggiano, Oconee Economic Alliance

  • Tornado relief response has been tremendous
  • Economic development activity continuing, beginning to pick up

Pickens: Jeremy Price, United Way of Pickens County

  • Takeaway: over $100K disbursed from OneUnited fund in Pickens.
  • People in Pickens County were already hurting.
  • One SC Fund went to front line agencies.
  • EFSP piggybacked to bring $80K for rent, utilities, food, shelter.
  • Mid March huge demand for food, now high need for utilities and shelter.
  • Pickens County communicates well due to small size.
  • Working on wi-fi hot spots.
  • On March 16 shut down volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) because libraries shut down, cancelled 400 appointments. Glad to announce drive-in tax prep service has started.

 

        Adjourn                                                                                    Terence Roberts