SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — CenterState CEO is stepping up to try and help the many businesses across Central and Northern New York that are feeling the impact of the COVID-19.

It provides access to business development assistance and connections to nearly 2,000 member businesses of all sizes across these regions.

CenterState CEO is an independent economic development strategist, business leadership organization and chamber of commerce.

“I don’t think any business owner, frankly, I don’t think any of us have lived through an experience quite like this before where we’ve seen such a broad scale shut down of the economy as well as the human and social impact associated with all this. That uncertainty is weighing heavily on people’s minds,” says CenterState CEO President Rob Simpson.

He says that means businesses not sure when or if they’ll reopen. Hotels, restaurants, and those in the food-service being hurt the earliest, fastest and hardest right now according to Simpson.

Area businesses in the telecommunications sector, makers of medical devices and those in the healthcare field are thriving during this time.

Simpson tells NewsChannel 9, “One of the silver linings in this for CNY, we’ve always had a really diversified economy so we’ll have some sectors that are hurting some that will perform well during this time of crisis, hopefully, that will serve us well when we inevitably come out and start to rebuild and recover.”

He recommends businesses take a hard look at cash flow planning, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, and thinking very carefully about how this pause will influence or change your business plan.

Simpson adds it’s important to be honest with yourself about the scale of the problem.

“I think that the company’s that are being proactive are the ones that have the best chance of surviving and ultimately thriving when the economy returns to full operations,” he tells NewsChannel 9.

In the meantime it’s the community support so critical that’s impressing him right now, pointing out construction companies donating masks to hospitals, or other people donating supplies to the Food Bank, to name a few.

“People are really coming together and trying to focus right now on the biggest problem that we have which is the human crisis in our community, people who are being laid off, who don’t have the means to support themselves and there’ll be plenty of time as we go forward to talk about our economic recovery, right now we need to take care of our community and our people,” Simpson says.

He says ultimately what’s going to be needed in order to reopen our economy and provide some confidence to business owners is a significant Federal Stimulus Bill, and critically important it gets done sooner rather than later.

This week CenterState has been talking to roughly a thousand business owners across the region to assess the damage and where best to provide help and what to ask of elected officials at the local, State and Federal levels.

Click here to learn more about CenterState CEO COVID-19 business resources.