Lewis & Clark RDC launches COVID-19 Business Impact Survey

Lewis & Clark Regional Development Council (RDC) has launched a new online survey measuring the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses and communities located in a ten-county region.

Part of the Lewis & Clark Development Group, Lewis & Clark RDC is a federally designated Economic Development District serving Burleigh, Emmons, Grant, Kidder, McLean, Mercer, Morton, Oliver, Sheridan, and Sioux counties. The organization recently received funding through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help coordinate an economic and community development response to the pandemic throughout the region. 

The CARES Act was passed by Congress and signed into law on March 27, 2020. The act provided EDA with $1.5 billion for economic development assistance programs to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.

“The economic fallout from the pandemic demands a coordinated and strategic approach,” says Brent Ekstrom, LCD Group executive director. “Lewis and Clark RDC has the infrastructure and capabilities to bring businesses, lenders, economic development groups along with city, county, and tribal leaders together to address these unique challenges.”

To coordinate the effort, Lewis & Clark RDC has hired Paulette Paulson to serve as the region’s EDA CARES Director. According to Paulson, Lewis & Clark RDC has mapped out a preliminary 24-month action plan to guide its work. The first step is to gather information to identify the pandemic’s economic effects on businesses within the region. 

The survey features 19 questions that measure various effects the pandemic has had on individual businesses and communities. Paulson says the data will be critical to developing recovery and mitigation strategies for business and communities.

“This survey is a first step. The data we collect from the survey will allow us to develop more specific and targeted research avenues,” adds Paulson. “Our objective is to collect as much information as possible so we can get a good look at what the economic impact has been.”

The survey is now available online at www.lcdgroup/covid-19impact/. Paulson says the survey will be available through September 30. Businesses, economic development groups, lenders, and local city, county, and political subdivision leaders are encouraged to take the survey.

“The pandemic continues to touch every aspect of our lives. Mitigating its effects and helping counties and communities come out of this crisis better and stronger is now the central focus of Lewis and Clark RDC,” notes Ekstrom.  

For more information on the survey and the range of COVID-19 economic recovery and resiliency services, please contact Paulette Paulson at paulette@lcdgroup.org or at (701) 667-7606.