In anticipation of Columbia County small businesses reopening once New York State COVID-19 mandates are lifted, Board of Supervisors Matt Murell plans to establish an advisory committee in the coming days that will help owners and residents determine what needs local businesses will have once the time arrives. The committee, to be known as the Columbia County Business Moving Forward Together committee, will be co-chaired by Michael Tucker, president and CEO of the Columbia Economic Development Corporation, and Jeff Hunt, president and CEO of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.

Other local officials, business owners, and community leaders who have also been asked to serve and help lift economic spirits include Rob Beaury, Germantown Town Supervisor and Chair of the County Economic Development committee; Rob Lagonia, Austerlitz Town Supervisor, chair of the Health & Human Services committee, and a restaurant owner; and New Lebanon Town Supervisor and Economic Development committee member Tistrya Houghtling. Chairman Murell reportedly also plans to include “four or five business people also join the committee. We will definitely need their perspective.”

“We will be looking at such things as how county businesses have been affected, what businesses will need assistance, and what they might need to return to business,” said Murell via a press release on Monday. “I think it’s important, in this unique time, to get ahead of these and other business-related issues as we look ahead to when the state allows business to begin re-opening.”