Oakland County Executive David Coulter today announced the leadership team for his COVID-19 task force to help advise on strategies to help stabilize the county’s economy and recover from the downturn caused by the pandemic.
The task force will provide recommendations to Coulter, the county Board of Commissioners and the Department of Economic Development & Community Affairs as the county plans for its economic recovery.
“I spoke to the task force chairs and they are committed to helping the county recover from this pandemic,” Coulter said. “We are in the middle of the health crisis, but we still need to take steps to stabilize our small and medium businesses and non-profit organizations that represent the fabric of the county. Oakland County is the engine of the state’s economy, and we will take every step necessary to ensure that our companies and community organizations are in a position to lead again.”
The leadership team will be led by co-chairs:
- Pete Provenzano, chancellor of Oakland Community College
- Shannon Striebich, president of St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital
- Barbara Whittaker, a procurement and supply chain expert and president of BW Limited
- Alan Kiriluk, founder and chairman of KIRCO, a Troy-based real estate development, construction and property management company.
The full task force will include representatives from education, foundations, local government, construction, restaurants, labor, health care and business. It will include county board Chairman David Woodward, D-Royal Oak, and Commissioner Mike Gingell, R-Orion Township. The complete membership will be announced next week.
The task force will focus on two phases: stabilization and recovery.
The county created its Small Business Stabilization Fund earlier this month to assist small businesses survive economically during the COVID-19 crisis. More than 6,000 small and medium businesses applied for grants from the $3 million fund, which includes $700,000 in grants available to local businesses who transition their manufacturing to producing much needed personal protective equipment for health care workers and first responders.
The stabilization grants, which range up to $10,000, are expected to be awarded early next week.
The task force will recommend what additional steps can be taken to stabilize small and medium businesses and non-profit organizations in Oakland County.
The second phase of the plan addresses economic recovery.
As businesses begin to re-open, the task force will help identify county strategies to assist in the recovery and help accelerate and sustain the rebound from the economic slowdown.