Charlottesville Chamber launches local economic recovery initiative
Business leaders will meet to create a 'blueprint' for best practices when businesses reopen
The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday announced the launch of Project Rebound, a local economic recovery initiative to address the COVID-19 economic crisis.
The project, hosted by The Chamber and economic offices at the University of Virginia, Albemarle County and the city of Charlottesville, aims to bring together local businesses to discuss challenges of COVID-19’s economic impact and to prepare solutions.
“There’s a lot of people in this community trying to help each other, and there are businesses that are trying to collaborate and partner, and we felt like we had an opportunity to bring all of those ideas together so that we’re not duplicating efforts,” Chamber President and CEO Elizabeth Cromwell said during a news conference held via Zoom teleconferencing Tuesday.
Last week, 846 people in Albemarle County and 621 people in Charlottesville filed for unemployment — and since the pandemic began, more than 7,000 people in both localities have filed jobless claims, according to Virginia Employment Commission data.
Project Rebound will bring together seven teams from industries including hospitality and tourism, information technology, financial, defense and nonprofit organizations to brainstorm solutions for revitalizing the local economy once businesses are open again.
Teams will meet to gather ideas and discuss pain points, Cromwell says. These ideas will be presented to the chamber’s steering committee, which will create a recommendation document to be shared with the community, ideally before June 10, when Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order is scheduled to be lifted, Cromwell says. The project will act as a “blueprint” to help businesses to emerge from the stay-at-home order, Chamber spokesperson Ann Marie Hohenberger says.