Thursday, 16 April 2020 12:19
By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Business
It’s Time to Talk About How we Recover!

I struggled to write this column more so than any before…maybe ever.

It just seems to me these days that ALL we read and hear about is COVID 19. There are some heroic stories. There are lots of tragic ones too. 

A few in the local media have asked me questions to produce stories meant to provoke fear and anxiety. They ask hypothetic questions where I’m asked to predict the future and to comment on it.  I’ve always said no thanks. I want to talk about facts and actions.

Turn on the television. Turn on the radio. It’s all COVID 19. Even the commercials are about new cleaning products or what this corporation is doing to help during this pandemic.

Check on social media and it’s almost entirely COVID 19 stories and a bunch of people posting photos from their high school yearbooks. 

So I’d really like to write about something else. 

I’ve been telling people that this is the week where the Chamber is transitioning. We’ve gone from near 24/7 triage as we tried to help our members and others in the community with the immediate impact of this attack to now developing a plan for our local recovery.

We may not know when exactly we’ll all start to transition to a new normal but the recovery will come.

Let’s talk about and write about what we’d like to see our communities do and be when we recover.

I love the fact that Saratoga’s theme is “Health. History. Horses.” I love that in Saratoga HEALTH has always come first here. But do we need to settle any longer for just three words to describe us. Could we add a fourth word – Arts! 

That’s something worth talking and writing about.

After living through this pandemic, I’d like to talk about and write about and listen to ideas about how we really make HEALTH number one.

If we do this, we WILL attract new people and new businesses to our City and Saratoga County.

I think we’re all going to pay way more attention to our personal and our economic health than we have in a long time.

Talent is going to go where it’s healthy to live. Where the talent goes so will the companies or maybe they’ll let us live here while working remotely. 

Many of us have learned to work remotely. Our children have learned to learn remotely too. So this could be a game changer for a generation. 

Let’s talk about and write about and figure out how we can locally source more of the things we really need. 

Let’s not run out of toilet paper again. Let’s not have to beg people for masks to protect our health care workers and essential workers. 

Let’s make sure our local farms survive so we have local food whenever we need it.

Things are going to change for sure. And we’re learning how to adapt.

So let’s write about and talk about our future. What can we do better? What should we do differently? What will make Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County an even better place to live, work and play?

Right now, I have more questions than answers. 

So send me your answers to these questions. Share with me your thoughts and ideas. I need some good ones as we start to plan our local recovery effort.

And I’m hoping you’d also like to write and read and talk more about our future and our recovery than what we’ve been seeing and hearing for the last four weeks.

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