Leaders In Oakland County Gather To Guide Pandemic Recovery

Pontiac, MI - Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter is reconvening and expanding a respected group of business and community leaders to advise the county on how to leverage its $244 million share of President Joseph R. Biden’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to bring about short-term recovery and long-term transformation.

Many members of Coulter’s 2021 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force served on last year’s COVID-19 Economic Stabilization and Recovery Task Force.

“Our first priority for this funding from the American Rescue Plan has to be continuing our fight against the coronavirus pandemic and ensuring economic recoveries,” Coulter said. “But we also will have the opportunity to take on some transformational projects that will help improve the lives of our residents and businesses. This group of advisors can provide invaluable insight into the needs in the community.”

Coulter has asked the 31 task force volunteers to share their thoughts, experiences, and expertise on where the county is in its recovery from the pandemic and what needs to be accomplished in the coming months to ensure a full recovery.

The 2021 COVID-19 Economic Recovery Task Force will hold their first meeting on Monday, April 19 via Zoom. During the meeting, they will review current economic and community data, ARP funds, and begin a conversation of important indicators for Oakland County’s future.

The task force includes representatives from education, foundations, local government, construction, restaurants, labor, health care and business. It will also include Oakland County Board of Commissioners Chairman David Woodward, D-Royal Oak, and Commissioner Michael Spisz, R-Oxford, chairman of the board’s minority caucus.

Last April, Coulter created the COVID-19 Economic Stabilization and Recovery Task Force. They helped Oakland County develop strategies to stabilize the county’s economy and recover from the downturn caused by the pandemic, including optimizing the $219 million Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act money. Oakland County issued grants to help stabilize and support small businesses, residents, and communities in every part of the county. The grants were awarded to more than 15,000 local businesses, which employ 65,000 people; 22 local chambers of commerce; 57 cities, villages, and townships, 278 non-profit and 31 veterans’ services organizations; 28 local school districts as well as retailers, restaurants, community centers, and more.

“Last year, we were dealing with the daily demands of an unprecedented public health crisis,” Coulter said. “But now, we can be more strategic and intentional with the federal funding and I look forward to working with these and other community leaders to help crystalize our short, medium and long term plans.

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