From helping local governments navigate their changing financials to providing online assistance to small businesses in applying for federal loans to providing meals for food insecure Georgians, University of Georgia’s Public Service and Outreach is working throughout the state to help communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Friday, May 22, UGA launched a comprehensive webpage intended to help the public identify outreach programs and services that would help them address challenges created by the crisis. Information is compiled under “buckets” that include how to apply for federal funding for small businesses, webinars for local government officials and economic development professionals, financial assistance for nonprofits, and programs for communities and youths.
“As the state’s land-grant and sea-grant institution we have programs and services in place to address many of these acute challenges,” said Jennifer L. Frum, vice president for UGA Public Service and Outreach. “We have also quickly developed new programs of assistance for the most critical issues facing our communities during this time.”
Faculty and staff from all eight units of Public Service and Outreach, who work in all 159 of Georgia’s counties, are engaged in programming that will help communities more easily recover from the pandemic.
On May 28, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government will kick off a series of free webinars for government officials and economic developers called “Navigating Fiscal Crisis.” Those webinars, which also will be recorded and posted to the institute’s website, will focus on helping local governments make ends meet against revenue shortfalls, tools for budgeting and analyzing the economy, planning for cashflow, short-term funding strategies and communicating difficult financial decisions.
On June 1, the UGA Small Business Development Center will offer no cost regional webinars to walk entrepreneurs and small-business owners through the steps necessary to pivot their business after COVID-19.
This program, developed by UGA SBDC business consultants and offered in coordination with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, will focus on rewriting a business plan, financial best practices, communications strategies and resources to pivot for success. Register at https://www.georgiasbdc.org/after-covid19-pivot/.
Programs offered online through other UGA PSO units include webinars on mental health and self-care, free courses in subjects designed to boost professional skills, and educational programming and camps for youth.
The site also includes a public portal through which volunteers can find opportunities and organizations can seek volunteer help.
You can find the site at https://outreach.uga.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PSO-COVID-Resources.pdf.