Capital Clicks

Iowa business group launches survey to help in COVID-19 response

By: - March 17, 2020 4:33 pm
Des Moines, Iowa, skyline

The skyline is seen in Iowa’s capital city on Oct. 9, 2019, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The Greater Des Moines Partnership is surveying area businesses to assess their needs, look for innovative approaches to the partial shutdown, and to share information, said CEO Jay Byers.

“This is a time of unprecedented innovation and creativity,” Byers said. “What are the ways that businesses can pivot? Restaurants could adopt an aggressive takeout strategy, for example. What is the new normal?”

The Partnership, Central Iowa’s lead economic development organization, met with U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne, D-Ia., and members of the grocery and convenience stores on Tuesday. Byers and his team also met with Debi Durham, director of the Iowa Economic Development Authority and the Iowa Finance Authority to discuss how to respond to the outbreak.

Earlier in the day, Gov. Kim Reynolds ordered the shuttering of many facilities for at least two weeks.

“We are most concerned about the health and safety of citizens,” Byers said. “We are supportive of the governor’s actions to create social distancing.”

Byers said the task then is to “analyze the impact and see where we can provide additional resources.”

“Anytime you have a disaster, there are always concerns about both short- and long-term impacts on the businesses,” Byers said. “We want to minimize impacts.”

The Partnership has moved some of its programming online, while some events were postponed or canceled.

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