Public officials at all levels are working hard to figure out what the best steps are to protect public health and the economy. On the health front – we are focused on information being provided by authoritative sources including the CDC and the Iowa Department of Public Health. Things are changing rapidly. On the day of this writing Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds has issued a proclamation closing restaurants, bars, fitness centers, and theaters. Gatherings of more than 10 people have also been prohibited. Health concerns justify these extraordinary actions.

As an economic development organization, we ask what can be done to sustain businesses. We have encouraged our elected leaders and our regional economic development leaders to explore options to help small businesses and some non-profits in particular; this might include extraordinary tax relief , or short term low interest loans with an extended pay-back period. We make no claims about what ideas are best – but we simply encourage some action. With respect to non-profit service agencies which provide services to people – the kind of work that can’t be done remotely – closing schools will have a big impact on their workforce, and restrictions on group activities could also affect their revenue streams. Some temporary loosening of certain regulations could help them get through this period.

Complete the GDMP Business Survey ASAP – Sometimes it is difficult for policy makers to determine what course of action is best. Having reliable information for decision making is very important. For this reason, JEDCO strongly encourages area businesses to respond to a survey published by the Greater Des Moines Partnership. They are looking for business input about how businesses and organizations are being affected, how they are addressing the situation, and what the GDMP can do to help. We are too. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey, and encourage the business leaders and owners you work with to do the same.

Johnston Economic Development Forum Postponed – Some upcoming JEDCO events are being postponed or altered. For now we have need to postpone our annual development forum that had been scheduled for April 9, 2020. For now, we are declaring this to be a postponement with the hope that it can be rescheduled for a later date. Other steps we are taking include the following:

  • Our bi-monthly JEDCO Board meeting will be converted to a web conference
  • Most of our JEDCO team members are now working remotely – face-to-face meetings will be limited

For further updates, continue to follow us here on the website, and through our Twitter account @growjohston. We wish everyone good health and safety in these challenging times.