Chamber of Commerce CEO: Adapting During Pandemic Is Key

HYANNIS – Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce CEO Wendy Northcross recently talked about the current local business landscape during a virtual summit, saying businesses will need to continue adapting.

The coronavirus caused major shifts in the healthcare, construction, and tourism industries, which Northcross said are the three major factors that contribute to the region’s $14 billion regional domestic product.

The chamber continues to track how long those challenges brought on by the virus outbreak will impact the region.

Northcross praised businesses across the Cape for adapting to new regulations.

Restaurants, for example, have been able to transition to outdoor dining while maintaining social distancing protocols. While those practices have been successful, Northcross noted that now is not the time for business owners to let their guard down.

“That’s worked for us all summer, but winter is coming,” Northcross said.

According to Northcross, many vacationers transitioned from flying to going on road trips during the past few months. That has aided Cape Cod, as the area has been able to take advantage of a built-up demand for leisure travel.

Translating those advantages to the upcoming shoulder and winter seasons as well as weekdays as a whole will be another important goal for the region if economic growth is going to happen, Northcross said.

To do that, health numbers need to continue to trend in the right direction.

“The key to getting people back to work is getting those businesses open,” she said.

“Getting those businesses open and then letting them stay open is predicated on continued good health.”

Another potential issue going forward for local commerce, Northcross said, is the fact that the number of people in the area’s workforce could take a hit during the off-season due to the pandemic.

Because of that, some businesses could face hardships and uncertain futures going forward.

About Brendan Fitzpatrick

Brendan, a recent graduate from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, is one of the newest members of the NewsCenter team. When not on the beat, you'll probably find him watching Boston sports.
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