The survey’s goal was to gather information from residents of Hudson and surrounding communities, gauging the economic impact of Covid-19 on local households, changes in spending habits, and attitudes towards patronizing local businesses after the PAUSE order is lifted.
The survey had 200+ respondents, 85% of whom are full-time Hudson-area residents, expressing their sentiments regarding a wide-variety of topics relating to dining, shopping, and hospitality options and experiences.
Two resources for local artists today: the first is a new grant program, the other a new platform for artists to share and sell their works:
Columbia County Arts Fund
Furthermore, a program of the J. M. Kaplan Fund, has launched the Columbia County Arts Fund. Artists who have 501(c)3 status, or can apply with a partner organization, are eligible for grants up to $5,000. Applications are open now through July 1.
Sixteen creative workers will share a total of $8,000 in stipends in a second round of funding from the Hudson Arts Emergency Program, a community-funded, WPA-style project, supporting individual artists for projects that speak to life in Hudson during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.
“We were thrilled and impressed by the thought and imagination that artists displayed in their applications, so we decided to cast as wide a net as possible in the current round of funding,” says Seth Rogovoy, who leads the Hudson Development Corporation (HDC) Emergency Cultural Task Force, from which this program emerged.
Projects receiving funding include painting, photography, installations, musical compositions, performance, dance, field recordings, and video.
Individuals receiving $500 stipends as part of the second round include:
Victor Bloom, composition
Valerie Shaff, photography
Marc Scrivo, “Hudson for Trees,” photography, field recordings, documentation
Rebecca Borer, webcast
Alison Fox, painting
Victoria Sambunaris, photography
Sondra Loring, dance
Emily Smith, composition and performance
James Autery, video
Lydia Rubio, visual arts
Jeremy Bullis, sculpture/installation
Suzanne Snider, oral history
Jane Ehrlich, visual arts
Pauline Decarmo, visual arts
Louise Smith, mural
Elise McMahon, video
Learn more about the program, and download the guidelines and application, on our website.
The Columbia County Chamber of Commerce announced this morning that it is establishing a new program to purchase gift cards and certificates through its Chamber Foundation from local restaurants and dining establishments, and distribute them at no cost to frontline workers and first responders. Anyone interested can contribute to the fund by contacting the Chamber.
The Spark of Hudson and Humanity Forward contributed $300,000 each to the initiative. The press releases notes that “Hudson has an estimated population of approximately 6,000 residents, with a median household income of $35,439 and poverty rate of 19.2%…[making] Hudson an ideal host city for a UBI pilot program.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, a fierce advocate of UBI, took to Twitter to share the announcement:
The Spark of Hudson is a learning and training center set to launch in Hudson, NY dedicated to reinventing education. In addition to The Spark of Hudson and HudsonUP, Wenger and Danziger have launched and funded a variety of other projects to better the greater Hudson community and beyond.
Humanity Forward is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization founded by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. The organization is dedicated to continuing the movement inspired by Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign and to making its core ideas a reality, one of which includes UBI.
Today, the Hudson Business Coalition (HBCi) is releasing the results of its Covid-19 Business Questionnaire. The questionnaire was conducted online from April 10 to May 1, and had a total of 64 respondents, 90% of whom are Hudson-based business owners (the remainder own businesses elsewhere in Columbia county).
90% of respondents are ‘on pause’— effectively ceasing operations, or operating with ’significant modifications’
59% report having difficulty making rent or mortgage payments, and and 55% report difficulty paying for their operating expenses
36% of respondents aren’t sure how many months they’ll be able to make rent payments, or won’t be able to pay rent for even one more month going forward
20% of respondents say they are not optimistic about their prospects of returning to business after the pandemic, while 44% are optimistic about returning (36% are unsure about their prospects of returning)
Many respondents provided free-form responses to questions about how the pandemic has affected their businesses and the ways in which they could use assistance, both now, and as they get ready to re-open.
The Hudson Business Coalition thanks all those who responded to the questionnaire. The HBCi will use the insights gained from these results as we continue to work with elected officials and other leaders in our community to find new ways to support Hudson’s business owners and their employees during this crisis.
The Community Loan Fund of the Capital Region has a COVID-19 Small Business Continuity Grant Program that’s designed to help businesses keep their employees and stay afloat during a time of economic hardship due to the impacts of COVID-19. Businesses are encouraged to apply for this funding to help make payroll, to pay bills and to keep their operations going.
The grants are available to small businesses with a physical commercial storefront located or independent contractors or gig workers based in Albany County and the surrounding Capital Region. Under this program, small businesses are defined as retail, service provider, restaurant, independent contractor/gig and wholesale businesses with 50 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) or less. Additional eligibility factors include the following:
Eligible small businesses must have been in stable operation since January 1, 2020.
Eligible applicants cannot have any outstanding tax liabilities, tax liens, or legal judgements.
All applicants must show proof of seeking available Federal resources and provide evidence of all private and public assistance received.
National chains or independent contractors working for national chains are not eligible under this program.