Spokane Journal of Business

GSI, others to gauge early impacts of coronavirus

Survey meant to identify specific needs, issues

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Greater Spokane Incorporated and other business groups are gauging early impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, in hopes of helping business navigate the unprecedented crisis.

GSI, which serves as the combined chamber of commerce and economic development council for Spokane, developed the Regional Business Impact Survey in conjunction with the West Plains Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Spokane Valley Chamber, Downtown Spokane Partnership, and Visit Spokane. The survey went out to businesses yesterday, seeking insight on needs and to identify resources to meet those needs.

GSI also is partnering with cities, the county, and businesses to create a unified and coordinated communication, marketing, and resource response.

“It’s key that our business community tracks the impacts,” says GSI CEO Alisha Benson. “The hospitality restaurant and retail industries are impacted disproportionately.”

Benson says the organization supports Gov. Jay Inslee’s decisions to close schools and sit-down restaurants and cancel large gatherings throughout the state. GSI is concerned, however about immediate and lasting economic impacts, she says.

“The closure of schools has tremendous impact on workforce,” Benson says. “They are going to need our help.”

In addition to closing sit-down restaurants and bars, Inslee’s emergency proclamation that goes into effect statewide Tuesday, March 17, also bans entertainment, leisure, and non-essential services, including theaters, bowling alleys, gyms and fitness centers nontribal card rooms, museums, art galleries, tattoo parlors, and barber shops and hair and nail salons.

 

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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