SchoCo Promise: Safety 1st


By: Patsy Nicosia

Times Journal, July 8, 2020

SEEC and its partners, in­cluding the Economic Alli­ance & Reopening Task Force, want to make sure Schoharie County stays open safely as New York State reopens.

To do that, today they’re launching the SchoCo Prom­ise, an effort with two pieces linked through Survey Mon­key.

The first will help walk busi­nesses through filling their re­quired New York Forward safety plan and “affirming ” that they’ve done it – a bewil­dering and confusing step most don’t realize is critical to keeping the Mohawk Valley Region – that’s us – open.

Then, the second piece of the Survey Monkey tool will take businesses through the steps to become a part of SchoCo Promise, a designation that recognizes safe COVID-19 practices modeled after other Promises in New York City, the Poconos, Niagara Falls, and Lake George.

“We’re very fortunate that we’re now in Phase 4, but we’re a little worried that not all businesses realize they have to have a safety plan and have it af­firmed” said SEEC Executive Director Julie Pacatte.

That missing step is something that’s critical to keeping businesses open, she said, es­pecially if COVID numbers be­gin to climb.

SchoCo Promise is intended as a way to let visitors know businesses take COVID safety seriously, something everyone involved hopes will keep them coming.

“Every indication is that folks want to shop at places that take it seriously,” Ms . Pacatte said.

“We also realize it’s impor­tant to keep the people who own and run our businesses healthy and safe. Stay healthy, stay open. That’s the message we’re going with.”

Businesses that receive the SchoCo Promise designation will receive a certificate and window clings they can use to promote it.

They’ll also be able to access resources like shared business safety plans and signs and be included in marketing opportu­nities like social media posts and newspaper advertising cam­paigns.

SEEC and the Economic Alliance & Reopening Task Force can also help essential busi­nesses that have remained open through all of the New York on Pause phases after their safety plan – again, many don’t know it’s required or where in New York Forward they even fit Ms . Pacatte said – and sign  them up for SchoCo Promise too.

For more information and the Survey Monkey link go to

Members of the Economic Alliance & Reopening Task Force include: Bill Felter, Serious Brewing; Kimberly Witkowski, Schoharie County Council of Senior Citizens; Robin Stine, Henry Hill Farm; and Theresa Olsen , GTO Wood turning .

Also: John Mc Keeby, Schoharie River Center ; Lindsey Giagni, State Farm Insurance; Bob Smith, Cobleskill Golf & Country Club; Bryan Ludwig, Progressive Chiro­practic; Ryan McGiver, Scrumpy Ewe Cider; and Jerrine Corallo, Country Class­room.

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