(WXYZ) — We're taking a look at the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during tonight's 7 UpFront segment.
Joining us is Wafa Dinaro, Executive Director of Economic Development Corporation for Wayne County, to tell us what they're seeing.
You can see the full interview in the video player above.
"As soon as the shutdown started happening in March we've been incredibly aggressive in supporting small businesses, businesses under 50 employees," she says. "We have already distributed over $70 million in direct grant funds. We've allocated loan money to these small businesses. We understand that the small businesses are the most vulnerable because they have the least access to capital and we've made it a priority to support them and be able to get them to ride the pandemic and be able to safely open once the pandemic is over."
"We are encouraging all of our residents to shop local, to do all of their holiday shopping locally if they can, to buy gift cards to continue to have cash flow through these businesses, to get them through the holidays and to get them through at least the next couple of months of the pandemic," Dinaro says. "We're optimistic. There are a couple of vaccines that are out there now. We're feeling very optimistic about what 2021 has in store for us."
"People are always going to want to go downtown. People are always going to want to go out to eat. This is just a difficult time and we just have to get through the pandemic and I really strongly believe that businesses will come back and they'll start to thrive again," she says.