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COVID-19 Webinars


COVID-19: Preparing for What Comes Next

Monday, March 23

Join us to learn the latest on the impact COVID-19 is having on everything from small businesses to essential civil functions. Our moderator will engage speakers on their past experiences in emerging from economic calamity, whatever the cause -- natural disasters or previous outbreaks. Attendees will gain from past experiences and learn important information they can use in the coming weeks and months to help their communities recover from the impact of COVID-19.


COVID-19: Demystifying Financial Programs and Resources

Monday, March 30

The federal government offers a number of different financial programs and resources to help communities and businesses respond and recover during and after a crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic is proving to be unprecedented in nearly every way possible, which makes understanding your options even more important. Our second webinar in this series will convene top experts in understanding, leveraging and deploying financial programs and resources, including those from SBA, CDBG and EDA.


COVID-19: CARES Act - A Closer Look with IEDC

Friday, April 3

Join IEDC's Jeff Finkle and Matt Mullin for a closer look at the landmark CARES Act, a $2 trillion bill meant to stimulate the economy by providing resources to individuals, state & local governments, organizations and businesses. We will discuss key provisions of the bill that will impact economic development for years to come, as well as the latest in navigating these new resources.


COVID-19: A Ten-Point Action Plan for Economic Developers

Monday, April 6 

You need a plan. Several weeks into the worst public health crisis in generations, with several weeks likely remaining, the global economy is reeling. What is to come will be a complex series of response and recovery stages, and decisions you make now will have a lasting impact. Richard Florida and Steven Pedigo will discuss their ten-point action plan for economic developers to help you and your community mobilize. Our third free webinar in the COVID-19 series will outline a path forward that could help your economy come back stronger, more inclusive and more resilient.


COVID-19: Boost Your COVID-19 Tech Toolbox

Monday, April 13 

The COVID-19 epidemic has brought a lot of uncertainty to economic developers and the communities and businesses we serve. Some of this uncertainty can be relieved by utilizing technology tools to understand how the virus will impact your community, such as where to concentrate resources and which businesses are in need. Internal organizational uncertainty must also be addressed, as social distancing has required transition to teleworking systems and virtual group meeting platforms.

In this webinar, our economic development technology experts will share various tools to incorporate digital literacy, technologies, and complimentary services into your new day-to-day workflow. This will be the introductory webinar of the COVID-19 Tech Toolbox Series where our experts will provide demos of leading softwares to enhance your tech capabilities during and after this crisis.

Follow-up Demo Series:

Webinar 1: COVID-19 War Chest for Response & Recovery, Tuesday, April 14, 2020, 2:00 - 3:00 PM ET
Webinar 2: Free GIS Tools for Economic Developers, Wednesday, April 15 2020, 2:00 PM ET
Webinar 3: Tax Revenue Impacts: Clarity in Real Time for IEDC Members, Monday, April 20, 2:00 -3:00 PM ET
Webinar 4: Truly Engaging Virtual Meetings, Tuesday, April 21, 3:00 - 4:00 PM ET
Webinar 5: Adapting Distance Learning Tools to Preserve Public Engagement, Thursday, April 23, 4:00 - 5:00 PM ET


COVID-19: Moving Money to the Streets -Steps to Get CDBG Dollars Working Locally

Monday, April 20

Thanks to the CARES Act, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program has been given an additional $5 billion outlay to address the effects of COVID-19. Like all CDBG funds, this allocation can be used to support economic development activities. Among other uses, communities can use CDBG funds to offer loans and grants to businesses, to develop infrastructure to support businesses, and to provide job training. This webinar will discuss how grantees can use CDBG funds on the ground to respond to the economic impacts of COVID-19, using examples and learnings from other natural disasters.


COVID-19: Rebuilding Municipalities Around the Globe

Monday, April 27

Outside of the national governments, what is happening across the globe locally and regionally to support businesses? While national responses to COVID-19 are ongoing, economic developers are working to maintain industries, sustain local businesses, and plan for the future. As part of IEDC's COVID-19 Webinar Series, our speakers will share how municipalities outside of the United States are tackling issues locally to maintain existing activities, programming, and tools.


COVID-19: Future Scenarios, Near-Term and Far

Thursday, April 30 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

While many economic developers have their nose to the grindstone helping to deliver needed resources to their communities, larger questions loom in the distance. How can we re-open safely? How can we stabilize our supply chains to ensure that medical products are available? What will the economy look like in a year? For this webinar, IEDC brings together national economic experts to weigh in on the questions that keep us up at night, so you can begin to look ahead.


The Bottom-Line: How to Fund Your Organization Through the Pandemic and Beyond

Monday, May 4 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Keeping your organization afloat financially can be difficult in the best of times; in a pandemic, all bets are off. We know that economic development organizations are essential to healthy economies today, and, in the hard months of recovery that are still to come. In this webinar, you'll learn how you can convey that message to your funders, who may be experiencing their own crises. Experts in fundraising will provide insight for speaking to different audiences, from elected officials to private sector to institutions. We'll also hear about organizations that are bringing lines of credit and federal loans into their fundraising strategies.


Reinforcing Small Businesses and Commercial Districts

Tuesday, May 5 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of our small businesses are temporarily closed and activity within commercial districts has temporarily declined. For communities that are already recovering from a disaster, the COVID-19 pandemic is an additional challenge to recovery. Statistically, one in four small businesses does not reopen after a disaster. What does that mean for the small businesses that make up an essential base of our commercial districts?

Join us IEDC this Economic Development Week to celebrate the economic developers working in our commercial districts. In this webinar, we will explore strategies for these champions to support their small businesses and commercial districts to flourish in a post-disaster world.


Rethinking BR&E in the COVID-19 Era

Wednesday, May 6 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Business retention and expansion has always been the basis for successful economic development. In the era of COVID-19 a strong BR&E program is more essential than ever before. However, the pervasive health and economic consequences of this global pandemic require economic developers to rethink our traditional mindset and approaches to BR&E.

- How does COVID-focused BR&E differ from a traditional approach?
- How do our mission and desired outcomes change?
- How does COVID-19 impact the structure of BR&E?
- What tools and tactics of traditional BR&E can be used for COVID-19 rapid response?
- Which traditional BR&E methodologies need to be changed or abandoned altogether?
- What lessons from disaster preparedness and recovery can be applied to COVID-19?
- What opportunities will arise from the pandemic?
- What simple steps can we take to be more responsive to this and future pandemics?

Whether you already have a BR&E program or want to implement one, tune into this conversation between Laith Wardi, President and founder of ExecutivePulse, and Jeff Finkle, President and CEO of the International Economic Development Council for a roadmap to resilience and recovery as economic developers face an uncertain future with COVID-19.


Measuring Economic Development Impact and Storytelling - Best Practices to Gain Grant Dollars

Friday, May 8 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Economic developers are so focused on improving their communities that reporting and measurement often get lost in the shuffle. But understanding how to measure your ED efforts, and translating that to a strong narrative is essential in the grant application process. How do ED professionals implement tactics to capture results, and build solid speaking points?

Join IEDC this Economic Development Week to celebrate the economic development profession, and learn how to build a narrative on your efforts and win more grant dollars.


COVID-19: Workforce, Labor, and Skills in a Recovering Economy

Monday, May 11 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the experience of workers in our economy - from those who are filing for unemployment for the first time to those who are living through the strain of being deemed "essential". With workers re-evaluating their careers, and companies re-evaluating their practices and labor needs, this crisis becomes an inflection point for those concerned with workforce development. In this webinar, four experts will provide insight into what economic development organizations can be doing at this time. The webinar will cover:

- Workers who have lost their jobs will be in need of training
- Increased interest in relocation
- Longstanding needs for more skilled workers in many growing industries
- Utilizing data to address skills gaps


COVID-19: On Keeping Entrepreneurship Agile and Small Businesses Afloat

Monday, May 18 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

In spite of the largest economic stimulus package in American history, including $377 billion dedicated to small businesses, entrepreneurs and small business owners are still struggling to keep their doors from permanently closing. What can be done at the local level now to help entrepreneurs and small businesses make it through COVID-19? Join IEDC as we speak with experts on entrepreneurship about what economic developers can do to assist those behind the businesses in your community.

This webinar is supported by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In 2020, IEDC and partner UMKC SourceLink will develop a set of training courses and credential for professionals working on entrepreneurship-led economic development. Interested in learning more about this initiative? Join our mailing list.


An Update of the CARES Act

Friday, May 22 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Under a recent Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) addendum, the CARES Act will make funding available to eligible communities impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Funding supports various immediate needs such as planning and technical assistance, construction of infrastructure, and innovation grants. During this webinar, we will hear from our EDA partners on recent policy decisions and emerging programs to provide additional recovery assistance. Join IEDC and EDA to find out how your community can qualify for these grants, what type of criteria is required in the application process, and examples of projects for new and existing grant recipients.


Linking Supply Chains, Locations, and Procedures

Wednesday, May 27 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

The pandemic has highlighted essential goods and services in our communities. With unforeseen shortages due to the interruption of supply chains, it has also shown us just how fragile these global relationships can be. Beyond the measures that are being taken to address immediate needs, how can we develop a proper crisis response to rectify a disturbed supply chain from areas like the Greater Asia region and other large trade suppliers? Our speakers will discuss how communities can support businesses and companies adjusting their manufacturing locations, promotional activities, and operational trade procedures.


EDA Federal Funding Workshop

Friday, May 29 | 3:00 pm - 4:00pm ET

Join IEDC for a step-by-step tutorial for how to access funds made available via the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

In this webinar, we will review the application for funds distributed through the Economic Development Administration (EDA) for economic development organizations to engage in projects related to COVID-19 recovery. You will be instructed how to access the application, what materials you will need, and what projects are eligible. Whether you are an expert, or have not applied for EDA funds before, you are sure to learn something new about this process.

Our speakers have a long history of working with the EDA, and will be available to answer your questions.


Maximizing Return On Your Community's Higher Ed Presence

Monday, June 1 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

As communities strengthen their quality of life scorecards, build talent, diversify their economic base and plan post-COVID19 recovery, Higher Education institutions can be critical partners. These community anchor institutions offer a range of ways to support talent, innovation and place objectives of economic development. Learn from universities and economic developers how to strengthen partnerships and possibilities that result in better business attraction and retention, entrepreneurship, and quality of life.


Wish You Were Here: Tourism in a New Age

Monday, June 15 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 are at a direct opposition to the tourism industry; when the recommendation is to stay home and avoid plane travel, no amount of promotion will bring back the flow of visitors. Now, those in the travel industry are cautiously looking forward to re-opening, with new campaigns highlighting safety, and new procedures for air, train, and public transportation. This webinar will provide information that you can implement and share with your tourism partners as the season ramps up.


Saving Retail on Mainstreet and Beyond

Monday, June 22 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

Mainstreet retail is at risk due to the Coronavirus. The small businesses that line the streets of once-bustling neighborhoods are highly impacted by the sharp economic downturn; they are less likely to be considered essential, less likely to have an emergency fund, and more likely to close permanently. Innovative strategies can provide a lifeline to these businesses - from loan programs to easing restrictions on doing business in the street. Join our experts to hear from communities large and small on how they are saving Mainstreet.


From Farmers to Grocers to Servers, Food Systems Are Changing

Thursday, June 25 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

COVID-19 has disrupted food supply chains in America and around the globe. As schools, restaurants, and other major consumers of food products closed, demand dried up, leaving farmers with excess crops. At the same time, food banks around the U.S. saw more clients as unemployment soared. These circumstances have reverberating effects on the restaurant, agriculture, and grocery store industries. In some way, food instability impacts every community. In this webinar, we will consider how economic developers can address food issues in their own communities and what to anticipate as supply chains return.


Money to Small Business: Loans, Grants, and CARES Act Funding

Monday, June 29 | 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm ET

Small business survival is top of mind for economic developers right now. Yet, there is confusion about how federal funds are able to be distributed to businesses - are grants or loans allowed? What are the stipulations?

This webinar will explain, step-by-step, the mechanics of a loan program and a grant program that have utilized a variety of funds, including CARES Act county allocations. By the end of the webinar, attendees will have more clarity on tangible ways to help their small businesses recover.


Preparing for the Next Wave of Investment: Re-shoring and FDI

Monday, July 13 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

As a result of the pandemic supply chains have been heavily disrupted, causing instability of essential products, like personal protective equipment. Ramifications of supply chain disruption are causing US-based companies to consider re-shoring functions, such as manufacturing and research and development. Foreign companies with a heavy presence in North America will also be considering building new locations to better serve their customers.

This webinar will provide guidance from experts in site-selection, reshoring and FDI, and global business. Attendees will learn about how COVID-19 has changed the practices of re-shoring and FDI, and how to position their communities for new investment.


Economic Systems after COVID-19: Towards a More Resilient, Sustainable and Inclusive Recovery

Thursday, August 6 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

The COVID-19 pandemic is testing the limits of healthcare and economic systems across the world. In addition to disrupting lives, economies and societies, the pandemic has triggered the most severe recession in nearly a century – with the retail, travel and restaurant industries, among others, in tatters. Similar to the 2008/09 global financial crisis, which disproportionately hurt lower-income households, COVID-19 hit lower-wage workers first and hardest. The magnitude of the crisis confronts business leaders and policymakers with an unprecedented challenge.

Economic growth and social inclusion are not mutually exclusive; ample evidence supports the notion that interventions that promote inclusion often lead to stronger economic recoveries. While there will be no easy solutions, special attention must be given to interventions capable of accelerating desirable trends that are likely to shape the next normal. The distributional implications of automation and the future of work for the shape of the recovery will be examined.



A New Perspective on Special Economic Zones

Monday, August 17 | 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm ET

In the post-COVID world, economic developers will need to utilize all the tools available to bring their economies back. Special Economic Zones (SEZs) including Foreign Trade Zones, Opportunity Zones, and Enterprise Zones, can help the local economies recover, especially when they are used in tandem to build value. In this webinar, you’ll learn from experts about how to make the most of the zones you have, as well as how legislatures should protect, and possibly expand, the benefit of these frameworks.