A number of new words and phrases were introduced into our vernacular in 2020: PPE, social distancing, mask-up, virtual everything, Zoom (as a noun, adjective, verb and adverb!), “You’re on mute,” CARES Act, and Spread Kindness.
Along with new words and phrases for 2020, GSI and its many partners shifted into high gear to support the entire business community that continues to be greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As the region’s designated Associate Development Organization (ADO), GSI’s strength of connectedness proved key to stabilizing, communicating, sourcing and advocating on behalf of all of our businesses during this truly unprecedented time.
GSI was integrally involved in the work of the region’s emergency response, joining elected leaders (county, cities, state, federal), emergency personnel, and health care leadership in staffing the region’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The goal of this effort, which still meets today, is/was to provide coordination of the hundreds of issues that surfaced because of COVID-19 and to plan how our region could move through a global pandemic from both a health and economic standpoint.
This annual report delves into that by the numbers, and I invite you to peruse the work of the GSI team alongside numerous local, state and regional partners. None of us will soon forget 2020 and its challenges. And I urge us not to.
Within those challenging times, there were also opportunities. With the dawn of a new year comes hope that this new beginning will be different. As GSI prepares to re-amplify work that was put on hold due to the pandemic, we do so with 20/20 hindsight and a renewed perspective: the Power of We.
The Power of We was demonstrated in our community coming together to fight a global pandemic, the creation of new and deeper partnerships, a broader understanding of the ecosystems that support our region, the strength of our joint health care systems, increased personal and professional vulnerability, and graceful honesty. We learned how truly fragile our entertainnent, hospitality, and arts and culture sectors are to our overall regional economy. And we learned that we can’t take any of it for granted and how earnestly we need to protect the quality of life we enjoy.
In the spirit of new beginnings and renewed hope, the Power of We is a movement. A movement to join together to create a better future. Together We’re Greater!
View the full annual report by clicking here.