COVID-19 Questions Forum

The next COVID Questions forum, scheduled for Tuesday, will explore the economic impact of the virus and feature top business and political leaders in the area.

Panelists include Amy Bradley, Cambria Regional Chamber president and CEO; Frank Janakovic, Johnstown mayor; Linda Thomson, JARI president and CEO; and Joshua Boland, executive director of the Somerset County Economic Development Council.

The event will begin at 7 p.m. on Zoom and also be live-streamed on In This Together Cambria’s Facebook page. To access the virtual town hall, visit https://pitt.zoom.us/j/96156145654.

“I have been very impressed with the ingenuity of our businesses throughout this crisis,” Bradley said. “They have really come up with some creative ways to maintain business while keeping their staff and customers safe.”

She pointed to companies such as Stryking Boutique, which added online fashion shows and delivery options during the pandemic, and noted how hard local restaurants have worked to adjust to meet the needs of customers.

Bradley has also been impressed with community support throughout the last year.

JARI has seen the strain on local businesses first-hand. Thomson said the agency has worked since the start of the pandemic to support area companies through technical assistance, financial services and sharing of information.

JARI has also lent a hand with the COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program, administered county block grants and helped business navigate the various restrictions imposed because of the disease.

Other topics to be discussed during Tuesday’s event include innovative tactics businesses have used to survive, avenues for relief and opportunities in the crisis.

Upcoming forums have been scheduled as follows: “One Year Later: Celebrating Our Resilience,” March 30; K-12 education, April 6; Vaccine update, April 13; the 1918 flu and its parallels with the current pandemic, April 30; higher education, May 4.

The COVID Questions forum is a collaborative effort between In This Together Cambria, The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown and The Tribune-Democrat.

Recordings of these virtual events, COVID-19 resources and more can be found at www.inthistogethercambria.com.

Joshua Byers is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @Journo_Josh.

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