Oregon State University – Cascades will host a free, virtual summit on May 19 to provide business owners a framework for decision-making as the economy reopens amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Reopening Central Oregon” will take place from 9 a.m. to noon via Zoom.
“The speed and impact of the economic shutdown in Central Oregon was unprecedented,” said Adam Krynicki, director of the OSU-Cascades Innovation Co-Lab, which is coordinating the summit and provides co-working space, mentoring and student support for Central Oregon businesses.
“This summit is a collaborative effort of partners across the region to promote the safety of our community while helping our economy get back on track.”
Keynote speakers Dr. George Conway, director of Deschutes County Health Services, and Emily Freeland, an environmental health specialist with DCHS, will discuss state and local public health reopening guidelines.
Breakout sessions will be led by local economic development leaders and entrepreneurs, and will focus on industry-specific needs in the childcare, construction, healthcare, hospitality and tourism, manufacturing, nonprofits, personal services and food service sectors. Sessions will address planning needs and resources available for businesses, and provide guidance for how owners and managers can prepare if there were to be a surge of new COVID-19 cases.
The summit was developed in partnership with the Bend Chamber of Commerce, Business Oregon, City of Bend, Central Oregon Community College Small Business Development Center, Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council, East Cascades Works, Economic Development for Central Oregon, Governor’s Regional Solutions Center and Opportunity Knocks.
The Innovation Co-Lab is planning future summits to take place during the summer to help businesses determine which practices to continue and which to reinvent while creating a more resilient regional economy.
About OSU-Cascades: Oregon State University’s campus in Bend, Ore. features outstanding faculty in degree programs that reflect Central Oregon’s vibrant economy and abundant natural resources. Nearly 20 undergraduate majors, 35 minors and options, and three graduate programs include computer science, energy systems engineering, kinesiology, hospitality management, and tourism, recreation and adventure leadership. OSU-Cascades expanded to a four-year university in 2015; its new campus opened in 2016.