Linda DiMario, Lucy Dunn, Others on UCI Forum Panelists Discussing COVID-19, Where Business is Now, What to Expect Next
Monday, May 04, 2020
What are the ramifications of this new reality brought on by the Coronavirus crisis for the business community? Technology and innovation have been important factors for some businesses to continue operating, but Orange County is a dynamic ecosystem also comprising of biotech, healthcare, tourism, higher education, and manufacturing; how will they factor into the region’s recovery?
Orange County business leaders shared their insights during a May 1 webinar on reopening the economy and what’s being done to combat the challenges facing the OC business community as a result of business closures, stay-in-place orders, and precautions taken to stave off a spike in COVID-19 cases.
Following a message from UCI Chancellor Howard Gillman, webinar moderator Richard Sudek, Ph.D., chief innovation officer and executive director of UCI Beall Applied Innovation, introduced panelists: Linda DiMario, executive vice president, Greater Irvine Chamber; Lucy Dunn, president and CEO, Orange County Business Council; Joseph Lozowski, president and CEO, Tangram Interiors; and Bruce DD MacRae, vice president of state government affairs for the western U.S., United Parcel Service.
DiMario explained how the Chamber collaborated with the City of Irvine to proactively reach out to Irvine’s 21,000 businesses with a series of newsletters and advisories to introduce them to resources and help them access state and federal financial assistance – all to help companies to mitigate the economic impact of the Coronavirus crisis. She said the Chamber has been working with the City of Irvine to provide concrete information and data to help business leaders in their decision-making and strategies for reopening.
“Working with a task force of Orange County partners we are developing best practices for every dominate industry sector in Orange County, hoping to bring some clarity to questions businesses have about what re-entry means for them,” DiMario said. “What do they have to think about, and what do they have to do? This document will help them start to thinking and planning so they can evaluate and recalibrate.”
Dunn reminded everyone that while organizations such as OCBC and chambers are helping the business community to understand federal, state, and local guidelines, we all need to stay focused on our health as a priority. We need to continue pushing for Coronavirus testing, tracking, and tracing so we can better manage our reopening while protecting the health of the community. Everyone on the panel agreed that the health and safety of workers is paramount.