One Year Later: Moving Forward in the Face of Adversity
19 Mar 2021
The pandemic took the world by storm, Boone County included. At this time last year, we were in the midst of chaos, unknowns and fear. Once the initial dust settled, Boone County knew it was time to come together in this time of need and support our businesses, residents, workers and economy. From there, Forward Boone County was born.
With Growth Dimensions Economic Development taking a lead role in bringing together community leaders, elected officials and health professionals, Boone County continues to weather the storm with grace and preserverance. Even in times of struggles and a blurred future, we hold steadfast in our approach to reach out and be receptive to our community.
With the onset of Phase restrictions and the implementation of state-wide mitigations, Forward Boone organized a subgroup committed to focusing on business resources, such as loans, PPP, grants, and restriction requirements.
As an inordinant amount of COVID-19 information was being shared by countless sources, it was this subgroup who diligently researched and found credible and factual networks and resources. Once identified, Forward Boone shared these trusted resources with business owners, business leaders and the entirety of Boone County.
In addition to the Business Subgroup, it was important to bring together a team of individuals who could easily and quickly get information out to the public. By forming a Communications Subgroup, Forward Boone was able to accomplish this purpose.
Communicating with all Forward Boone Partners and the Business Subgroup, the communications team was able to push out local, state and national information at a moment's notice. This was accomplished through the development of a customized website (www.forwardboone.org) and Facebook page.
As the vaccine rolled out, the Boone County Health Department began to see an influx of calls about when populations could expect to be vaccinated. With the idea presented by the City of Belvidere's Mayor Mike Chamberlain, we moved forward with developing a system to collect contact information for Boone County residents and workers, in order to effectively and efficiently provide updates to the community, on vaccine availability and clinics.
One means of engaging Boone County and providing accurate, relevant information was to hold webinars known as Forward Forums. Focused on Boone County, these forums serve as trustworthy resources for businesses and residents, alike. From Restore Illinois Phases to School Reopenings to Vaccine Information, Forward Forums are focused on bringing time-sensitive and meaningful COVID-19 information to every individual, family, worker, and business owner, who was impacted by the pandemic.
How Does Boone County Compare?
In order to measure Boone County's impact compared to the rest of Illinois, metrics can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health's website.