As more of the restrictions that were put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted, Southern Tier businesses are looking to what lies ahead.

The head of The AGENCY, Broome County's Industrial Development agency and the Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce, Stacey Duncan, is the guest on the weekly, local public affairs program, Southern Tier Close Up talking about just how far the local business community has come in a year.

Kathy Whyte/ WNBF News- Stacey Duncan of The Agency

Duncan says the Leadership Alliance, ironically, was formed in the months prior to the pandemic to organize strategy for local businesses. Little did anyone know, that the group would be thrust into the forefront of assisting businesses suddenly forced to drastically modify operations or shut down entirely in March, 2020 as COVID-19 exploded around the globe.

A year later, The Alliance is continuing to build on what was learned through a survey of the business community a year ago that found a need for accurate, real-time information regarding COVID-19 which is still constantly changing.

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The staff created the Resilience Toolkit for Broome County Businesses, the Broome County Reopening Playbook and the COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ Sheet that are still being updated as new, official guidance is being released.

Duncan says while, with vaccinations, the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel is in sight, the realization has set in that business and every day life is changed forever as a result of COVID-19.

The Greater Binghamton Chamber of Commerce and the Agency websites continue to provide the most recent versions of the Leadership Alliance COVID-19 publications.

The Chamber Chair also reflects on the creativity and the resilience of the general community as well as businesses and marvels at the unwavering support of the public for non-profits, restaurants and companies that make up the fabric of the Greater Binghamton area.

Southern Tier Close Up airs Saturday at 6:03 a.m. on News Radio 1290 WNBF and anytime on the WNBF podcast.

READ MORE: See how some companies are changing their businesses to combat COVID-19