The COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented social and economic disruption in our communities, state, and nation. As we continue our work to limit the spread of the virus, we must begin to look to the future and how we will recover economically. That is why I joined County Executive Dave Somers in announcing the establishment of an Economic and Workforce Recovery Task Force in Snohomish County.
The purpose of the Economic and Workforce Recovery Task Force will be to identify ideas and needs from various sectors on how we can best support our local businesses and workers through the economic recovery ahead.
As a part of this task force, I am coordinating an advisory group specific to North Snohomish County. The membership of the advisory group consists of a diverse range of business and community leaders from across North Snohomish County. We have representatives from many sectors including construction, aerospace manufacturing, small business, retail, food service, agriculture, finance, labor, and lodging as well as local governments and Chambers of Commerce. These representatives will meet regularly to discuss the needs and challenges for businesses as we adapt to the “new normal” following the shutdown caused by COVID-19.
As a community, we must come together to support our local businesses and workers. Many of these businesses and their employees have lost income which they will not get back. While we work to advocate for support from the state and federal government in this recovery effort, the biggest driver in the economic revival will be with each of us individually doing all we can to patronize our local businesses. The Economic and Workforce Recovery Task Force will help to share the needs and challenges facing various industries and inform what we can do to rise stronger than we were before.
The harsh reality of this situation is that some of our local businesses will not survive the economic disruption of COVID-19 and many workers will be unemployed as a result. That is why it is critical that we bring together representatives from various private sector industries in this economic recovery effort. I strongly believe that the best way to identify what actions need to be taken moving forward is to listen to the ideas and needs of those who are directly affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19.
I am grateful to the business and community leaders who have stepped up to participate in this effort. Together, my hope is that we can establish a path forward for economic recovery as well as inform decision making at the county and state levels to support this recovery. While the work of this group will produce next steps and ideas for how we expedite our economic revival, it will be incumbent for all of us to join the effort and support our neighbors and local businesses moving forward. We will accomplish this together.
Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1 which includes Arlington, Darrington, Granite Falls, Marysville, Stanwood, and unincorporated north county. He can be reached by email at Nate.Nehring@snoco.org or by phone at 425-388-3494.