Think Dutchess Digital Ambassador- Geoff Brault

Geoff Brault- Walkway Over the Hudson


Director of Marketing and Communications, Walkway Over the Hudson. Play-by-Play Broadcaster, Marist College Athletics

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I fell in love with the Hudson Valley while attending Marist College. Upon graduation, I spent several years working freelance and traveling quite a bit, but always kept my base in Poughkeepsie.  I’m yet to find a reason to leave a place that’s within two hours from essentially every conceivable activity in the world.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

I’ve lived in Dutchess County longer than anywhere else in my life, and this is the first place I discovered a real sense of community. People here work together to accomplish big things – they’re forward-thinking, creative, and ambitious.  It’s gratifying to be in a place with that kind of spirit, and it has certainly made me better both personally and professionally.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

You mean when not trekking back and forth 212-feet above the Hudson River on the Walkway Over the Hudson, taking in the one-of-a-kind views on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge that you can’t find anywhere else? I can usually be found playing a round of golf at The Links at Union Vale, one of the top-rated public courses in New York State, then meeting friends for a post-round beer at one of our award-winning breweries.  Seasonally, I don’t miss the Hot-Air Balloon Festival, Hudson Valley Wine and Food Festival, and Dutchess County Fair – the second-largest in the state!

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

It is very unfair to ask me to pick only one, and I’m glad I don’t have to. The food scene here, highlighted by the Culinary Institute of America, is world class. There’s a reason the New York Times AND Esquire Magazine have hailed the Hudson Valley as “the Napa Valley of food”.  You won’t find a sandwich in your lifetime better than the one at Rossi’s Deli. For a casual night out with fare that’s anything but, Mill House Brewing Company. Trying to impress? Head to Rhinebeck and sit down at Terrapin, Gigi Trattoria, or Willow.  

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

How varied your options are. Whatever you’re into, you can find it here.  We have history at the FDR Estate, Vanderbilt Mansion, Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, and the like. We have a burgeoning art scene highlighted by DIA:Beacon and the galleries on Main Street. If you’re outdoorsy, you can hike through mountain house ruins and up to fire towers, or enjoy kayaking on the river. Indoorsy people can spend a weekend at a five-star bed and breakfast and relax with spa treatments before sipping cocktails on a roof deck or riverfront patio. We have outdoor gardens, turn-of-the-century mansions, wineries, horse stables, NCAA Division I football and basketball, a professional baseball team, and even a zoo too!

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Stay longer than you think you should.  Whatever is primarily drawing you to the area, there’s so much more to see and do and eat and discover just around the corner. You’ll never regret the extra night or two.

Think Dutchess caught up with Geoff during the COVID-19 global pandemic to talk about how The Walkway and Dutchess County businesses are ready to come together and bounce back from the crisis. Learn what he’s looking forward to as we begin to reopen.


Think Dutchess Digital Ambassador- Shelby Adrian

Shelby Adrian- Kirchhoff Companies


Marketing Associate

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I have always been naturally attracted to Dutchess County, as I’ve lived here my entire life and so has my family. There is such a wide variety of things to do and a huge sense of community.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

I’ve always appreciated the small, organically grown communities that flourish within Dutchess County, and it’s been a dream of mine to one day be involved. My position at Kirchhoff Companies allows me to give back and get involved with these communities.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

The Dutchess County Fair is the ultimate Dutchess County activity. It’s something I’ve looked forward to every year since I was a child and will continue to look forward to for many years to come.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

While there are so many delicious and impressive eateries in Dutchess County, my newfound favorite would have to be Barbaro in Millbrook. They have a rigatoni dish that is phenomenal and I crave it constantly.

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? 

Dutchess County has the perfect mixture of greenery, suburbs, and even city. I think that someone visiting Dutchess County would be truly surprised at how diverse and versatile the outdoor scenery can be here. Within 30 minutes you can go from the City of Poughkeepsie to a dairy Farm in Millbrook.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? 

Dutchess County is a wonderful home for any business. There is a true sense of community here, even amongst those who you might consider competitors. Especially during this time, you can just see the overwhelming support from business owner to business owner.


Think Dutchess checked in with our Ambassadors during the NY State Pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the county moves forward, learn how these leaders adapted to change, championed local business and remained a critical part of keeping our county businesses working, and our friends and neighbors positive about the effects and outcomes the pandemic created.


Dutchess County Agribusinesses Provide Dairy to Area Food Agencies




Mary Ann Johnson | 518-432-5360 |
Erin Riley |


Collaborative Effort with Scenic Hudson will Benefit Youth Programs

HUDSON, NY – MAY 1, 2020 – In collaboration with Scenic Hudson, FeedHV, the food rescue program operating in seven counties in the Hudson Valley, will be able to purchase and donate dairy products to three of the region’s food assistance programs serving children: The Kingston YMCA Farm Project, Dutchess Outreach and The Friends of Hudson Youth. Dairy products will be provided by Hudson Valley Fresh and Ronnybrook Farm Dairy.

FeedHV is a regional food rescue and harvesting network operating throughout Dutchess, Orange, Ulster, Columbia, Greene, Putnam and Sullivan counties. It links donors of prepared, but unserved, food and fresh produce with nonprofits and food assistance programs. Through an app-assisted network of food donors, volunteers and feeding agencies, FeedHV facilitates the harvesting, processing and distribution of locally grown or produced agricultural products, shelf-stable food donations and prepared nutritious foods. Among the donors are restaurants, farms, food makers, stores, hospitals and universities. The food assistance programs include food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

With Scenic Hudson’s support FeedHV will be able to procure milk from Hudson Valley Fresh farms bottled in Kingston. Milk, yogurt and butter will come from Ronnybrook Farm Dairy, located on the border of Columbia and Dutchess counties. In total, it is anticipated that the regionally distributed donation will include more than 12,000 gallon and 1,800 half-gallon containers of milk, 1,250 containers of yogurt and 210 pounds of butter in eight-ounce packages. All of the dairies are selling their products at cost.

“Scenic Hudson has a strong history of supporting our regional food system and farmland preservation. At this time of extreme need, the support that they are giving FeedHV will enable us to contribute to thousands of meals in three counties – feeding our neighbors, mostly children, with fresh local products” said Todd Erling, Executive Director, Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC) which administers the FeedHV program.

“Scenic Hudson is delighted to partner with the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation’s FeedHV program by helping to provide locally produced food to youth programs in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Hudson while simultaneously supporting those farm families supplying the fresh food. Conserving Hudson Valley farms has long been a vital part of Scenic Hudson’s mission. We also are committed to ensuring all valley residents, particularly those facing the greatest hardships in our cities, benefit from our work. This collaboration helps to accomplish both during these tumultuous times,” said Scenic Hudson President Ned Sullivan.

“Access to fresh food is especially acute right now, particularly in our cities. At the same time, valley farms face significant economic challenges. By collaborating with the Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation to bolster FeedHV, Scenic Hudson is grateful to play a role in getting locally produced food where it’s most urgently needed, while helping to sustain the operations of hard-working farm families,” added Scenic Hudson Land Trust Executive Director Steve Rosenberg.

The Kingston YMCA Farm Project is a youth empowerment program working with pre-schoolers through high-schoolers, bringing young people to their farm where they grow food for its immediate community, to learn about growing, and running a farm stand. During the COVID-19 crisis, the Farm Project has been working with the Kingston Emergency Food Collaboration, packing meals to deliver throughout the Kingston school district – now upwards of 2,500 in a day, up from 175 a month in March.

In Poughkeepsie, Dutchess Outreach operates a food pantry, as well as The Lunch Box, which serves free, hot lunch and dinner meals to anyone in need, among other programs. Demand there is high and according to Dutchess Outreach’s Director of Development, Sarah A. Salem, “since the COVID-19 pandemic hit our area, our demand has doubled, and we are serving some clients who haven’t visited the pantry in more than 20 years.”

The Friends of Hudson Youth fortifies and enhances the City of Hudson’s Department of Youth. The Youth Department is continuing to work, with a reduced staff and volunteers, to provide food to over 600 vulnerable people with twice-weekly deliveries of grocery boxes. The Friends of Hudson Youth is supporting the emergency efforts. To learn more about FeedHV, its donor and volunteer programs, visit


About FeedHV
For the past three years, FeedHV has been operating as a regional food rescue and harvesting network in New York’s Hudson Valley, linking donors of prepared but unserved food and fresh produce to nonprofits with food assistance programs. The program is administered by Hudson Valley AgriBusiness Development Corporation (HVADC). For additional information, visit

About Scenic Hudson
Scenic Hudson preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the inspirational power of the Hudson River, while fighting threats to the river and the natural resources that are the foundation of prosperity in the Hudson Valley. For more information, visit



Dutchess County’s Walkway Over the Hudson Honors Frontline Workers

Walkway Over the Hudson Logo



CONTACT:  Geoff Brault



Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park Illuminated with 202-foot-long ‘THANK YOU!’ to Honor Frontline Workers During COVID-19 Pandemic


The Friends of the Walkway nonprofit organization and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation partnered to create this striking display on the World’s Longest Elevated Pedestrian Bridge

Walkway Over the Hudson Night Shot of 200 foot long illuminates thank you sign to honor COVID-19 frontline workers


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (April 30, 2020) –  To honor those on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park was illuminated by more than 1,300 luminaries coming together to spell out ‘THANK YOU!’, transforming the Hudson Valley’s most iconic landmark into the community’s largest display of gratitude.  In total, the display of light spanned more than 200 feet.  The project salutes everyone going to exceptional lengths to keep people healthy and society functioning in the Hudson Valley and across the nation.

“We hope that through this grand display across the Walkway frontline workers know just how much we appreciate their tremendous efforts,” said Elizabeth Waldstein, Executive Director, Friends of the Walkway. “That includes our partners at New York State Parks and the Walkway park management team, all of whom have gone above-and-beyond to ensure the bridge can remain open for those needing an outdoor respite.”

In the coming days, photo prints of the temporary light installation will be presented to key agencies in the community – places like emergency rooms, grocery stores, police stations, fire departments, and the like.  Beginning on Saturday, May 2 – I Love My Park Day – the public will be able to help extend the gratitude far and wide by purchasing prints and note cards at to recognize those that have made a difference in their lives during the pandemic.

“The Walkway is one of the icons of the Hudson Valley, and there is no more fitting location to serve as the backdrop for this impressive gesture of thanks,” said John Storyk, Chairman, Friends of the Walkway Board of Directors. “In addition to a big thank you to frontline workers, I want to also extend thanks to everyone that lent their time and talents to create this spectacle.”

Friends of the Walkway board members, volunteers, and staff worked side-by-side with New York State Parks personnel to facilitate the creation of this display, the largest of its kind in the history of the bridge. Board member Kathy Smith developed the logistical plan and led the buildout of the light display. Board member Bob Kaminsky led production design. Scott Snell of SDI Imaging donated his aerial photography services to capture the scene. Walkway volunteer Irving Solero took on-the-ground stills.

At all times, everyone involved in the project followed New York State Department of Health best practices for being outdoors by wearing face coverings and working in shifts to avoid gathering.  Each of the 1,300 bags was marked with ‘Honor. Remember. Celebrate.” The New York State Bridge Authority lit the nearby Mid-Hudson Bridge in blue and white on the evening of the photoshoot. Two boats from the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office provided uplighting on the Walkway superstructure.

“When the bridge first opened in the 1890s, it was known as The Great Connector, and I think it lived up to that nickname here,” said Linda Cooper, Regional Director Taconic Region, New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. “We’re proud of the role that Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park plays in our community and that the bridge is able to be open at this time for people to get fresh air and exercise while taking in remarkable views.”

Governor Andrew Cuomo has designated that New York State Parks, including Walkway Over the Hudson, remain open and accessible to the extent possible at this time. To read the health and safety guidelines patrons are asked to follow before visiting the Walkway, visit

For more information about the creation of this special project, including behind-the-scenes photos and video, plus a detailed account of how it all came together, visit

About Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park
Connecting the City of Poughkeepsie and the Hamlet of Highland in the Hudson Valley region of New York State, Walkway Over the Hudson State Historic Park is a renowned tourism and recreation destination visited by 600,000 people each year. Standing 212 feet above the river’s surface and more than 6,700 feet (1.28 miles) long, the Walkway is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world. The park provides unique access to the Hudson River’s breathtaking landscape for pedestrians, hikers, joggers, bicyclists, and people with disabilities. The park is open daily from 7 a.m. until sunset, weather permitting. For more information, visit

About Friends of the Walkway Over the Hudson
Supported by a diverse coalition of members, donors, and corporate sponsors, the Friends of the Walkway organization is responsible for raising funds to enhance the Walkway experience, support capital improvements, and deliver innovative events that engage Hudson Valley residents and visitors, all contributing to the vitality of the region. Additional programs and activities supported by the Friends of the Walkway include the volunteer Ambassador program, Walkway tours and interpretative signage in the park, providing accurate and important information to visitors via the Walkway’s website and social media channels, the Walkway’s membership and merchandise programs, and much more. To learn more about how your support can improve the Walkway Over the Hudson and support the Hudson Valley, visit




Small Business Administration (SBA) Announces Important Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Change

Statement by Secretary Mnuchin and Administrator Carranza on the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Lapse in Appropriations Notice: SBA is unable to accept new applications at this time for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)-COVID-19 related assistance program (including EIDL Advances) based on available appropriations funding.  Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.



Release Date: April 15, 2020                 Contact:, (202) 205-7036

Release Number: 20-32                           Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Blogs & Instagram


WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza issued the following statement regarding the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program:

“The SBA has processed more than 14 years’ worth of loans in less than 14 days.  The Paycheck Protection Program is saving millions of jobs and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time.  The EIDL program is also providing much-needed relief to people and businesses.

“By law, the SBA will not be able to issue new loan approvals once the programs experience a lapse in appropriations.

“We urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program—a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program—at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions more paychecks.

“The high demand we have seen underscores the need for hardworking Americans to have access to relief as soon as possible.  We want every eligible small business to participate and get the resources they need.”


 About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit


Think Dutchess Supports Transportation Workers Across the Region. 

MTA, Amtrak, NJ Transit & Port Authority Launch April 16 #SoundTheHorn Campaign to Honor #HeroesMovingHeroes

Action Advances MTA’s #HeroesMovingHeroes Campaign Paying Tribute to 74,000 Incredible MTA Workers


Tuesday, April, 14,2020-

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), together with Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and regional bus and ferry operators, today launched a coordinated effort to simultaneously sound vehicle horns on Thursday, April 16 to honor heroic transportation workers across the region. As a tribute to #HeroesMovingHeroes on the front lines of this public health crisis, all trains and buses running in service will give two one-second horn blasts at 3:00 p.m. in solidarity with partner agencies. Heroic transportation workers continue to provide critical service for healthcare workers, first responders, childcare workers, grocery store employees and other heroes who are performing critically essential work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sounding of horns advances the MTA’s #HeroesMovingHeroes campaign, which is dedicated to honoring the agency’s employees. The campaign was first launched on April 6 and features heroic frontline transportation workers who continue to go above and beyond the call of duty during this challenging time. The coalition of agencies invites transit agencies across the country to participate as well.   

MTA Heroes Moving Heroes Campaign upports NY transit workers during COVID pandemic “Our employees are heroes,” said MTA Chairman and CEO Patrick J. Foye. “They are courageously coming to work each day to perform their essential duties, which are critically important to this region during the pandemic. We hope this action will draw attention to their efforts and help further our employees’ spirit of solidarity with all New Yorkers.”

“Every hero deserves to be recognized and thanked for their courage, selflessness and the help they are providing to this country during this time,” said Amtrak Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating and Commercial Officer Stephen Gardner. “We are proud to participate with our partners and ‘sound our horns’ by honoring and thanking all of the heroes in the New York metropolitan area and across the nation who continue their essential and heroic service.”

“Our region’s frontline transit employees deserve all the thanks and recognition we can give them right now,” said NJ TRANSIT President & CEO Kevin Corbett. “This effort is a small yet powerful way for us to show our appreciation for the brave, selfless transit workers who continue to show up every day, under some of the most challenging conditions any of us have ever seen. They are moving essential personnel like hospital workers, first responders, and others who are literally working to save lives. By extension, these frontline transit employees are also helping to save lives and are performing a vital public service.”

“The essential workers who operate and maintain our transportation systems are committed to keeping the region’s first responders, healthcare workers, grocery and delivery workers, and all other essential workers moving to where they need to go safely, reliably, and efficiently,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “The Port Authority is proud to join our transportation partners in honoring the heroes moving heroes.”

There are 74,00 employees operating, dispatching, maintaining, policing and rebuilding the MTA’s system, including New York City Transit’s subways and buses, the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and MTA Bridges and Tunnels during this pandemic.

The partner agencies expect that there will be nearly 4,400 trains, buses and ferries in service on Thursday afternoon to participate in the coordinated sounding of horns.

Anyone who sees or hears trains, buses or ferries sounding their horns at 3 p.m. on Wednesday is encouraged to use the #SoundTheHorn hashtag to post audio and video, and tag the agency on the platform of their choice.


Dutchess County recognizes the importance of these workers to the economic health and vitality of our area. Our prime location, with access to air, rail and road service both locally, regionally and internationally make these workers essential to our success. We encourage you to take part in honoring these heroes with us on Thursday, April 16. #ThinkDutchess #SoundTheHorn #HeroesMovingHeroes

Learn more at:


These Dutchess County Businesses Are Shifting Production To Keep Our Community Strong

Resilience In Crisis

Innovation is nothing new to Dutchess County. Over the decades, countless companies have located here to create unique products in response to market shifts and demand. These days our businesses are innovating in a different way. As the world comes together to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, several of our Dutchess County businesses are reinventing themselves to meet the needs of the community shifting from their everyday production to producing supplies for healthcare workers or helping other businesses stay afloat. These companies embracing community over competition are giving innovation a whole new meaning.

Protecting the frontline-

Unshattered answers Governor's call to produce PPEs during COVID-19 crisisUnshattered– Social, nonprofit enterprise, Unshattered is no stranger to supporting those in need. The company, which employs women in recovery, manufactures custom handbags and accessories out of its Hopewell Junction location. In response to the Governor’s call for support, the women at Unshattered are keeping their jobs and giving back to the healthcare community after shifting production to masks for the medical profession. The company activated a virtual sewing circle for the #millionmaskchallenge, and organized a community collection point to assist in production of cloth masks that extend the life of scarce N95 masks that hospitals need.

Unlimited Tomorrow– In partnership with Nuvance Health, Rhinebeck-based 3-D printed prosthetics company, Unlimited Tomorrow,  is producing 1,000 face shields for area hospitals. While the company is happy to offer community support, they are also excited to be able to keep the workforce operating. Founder and CEO, Easton LaChapelle hopes to be able to offer additional support and work for people being laid-off.

Sanitizer Support –

Hudson Valley Skin Care– Pleasant Valley-based, Hudson Valley Skin Care produces farm-to-face skincare and body products distributed throughout the Hudson Valley. The company recently chose to suspend production in order to produce hand sanitizer. Local restaurant, Publick House 23 – which was distributing free lunches for children in need – served as Hudson Valley Skin Care’s distribution point. The company plans to add more distribution locations.

Dennings Point Distillery offers free hand sanitizer at contact-free pickup station in BeaconDennings Point Distillery– Craft spirits producer, Denning’s Point Distillery, is committed to creating the smallest environmental footprint possible. In line with its mission of helping the environment, the company has shifted to helping the community offering free hand sanitizer when you bring your own bottle on select days. Denning’s hopes that bottle sales from its outpost will support the cause and keep employees working safely. 

The Vale Fox Gin Distillers shift productio to hand sanitizer during COVID-19 crisisThe Vale Fox– Another craft distiller in Lagrange, The Vale Fox, has completely shifted to producing sanitizer. Already producing more than 9,000 bottles of hand and surface sanitizer, the company’s generosity goes beyond donations to essential businesses. To support workers impacted by this epidemic, a portion of eventual online sales will be made available to employees who have been impacted during this crisis.

Small Business Heroes –

Sloop Brewing opens canning line to fellow brewer Zues Brewing to keep both operations running during COVID19Sloop Brewing–  Sloop Brewing truly understood what it means to support your local businesses. Embracing community over competition, Sloop opened up a canning line for new Poughkeepsie craft brewer, Zeus Brewing. The move will provide the restaurant and brewery, currently open for takeout, an additional revenue capability

Dutchess COunty retaurants provied free lunch to children impacted by school closures during COVID-19 crisisMama Musetti’s and Publick House 23– Food service providers like Publick House 23, Mamma Musettis and many others have stepped up to provide lunches for children of families impacted by school closures. While some restaurants have unfortunately needed to reduce their offerings, residents can support the continuity of these efforts by purchasing gift cards to provide operating funds for restaurants.

Fit Social– From food to fitness many of our small businesses proved they can think big. Adapting swiftly to change and leveraging social media, many small businesses are using social media to provide virtual spaces and continue providing services. Businesses like Fit Social offering online classes as a means to keep the community healthy and staff employed.

Do you know of a local Dutchess County business doing innovative things to help our community in this crisis? Let us know on Instagram by tagging #ThinkDutchess.


Central Hudson Announces More than $1 Milllion in Grants and Community Assistance to Support Local COVID-19 Initiatives

COVID-19 Information from Our Partners at Central Hudson


Mar 26, 2020

Central Hudson Announces More than $1 Million in Grants & Community Assistance to Support Local COVID-19 Initiatives.

Utility continues to provide essential energy services while supporting communities

(Poughkeepsie, NY)

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. will provide regional organizations financial contributions to support their COVID-19 campaigns and missions, and will offer $1 million in economic development grants to assist local small businesses, many of which are impacted by the pandemic.   In addition, the utility is expanding its Good Neighbor Fund, a program that provides last resort grants toward utility bills for qualified households, funded by customers and matched by Central Hudson, by doubling its matching funds this year.

“We are in an unprecedented environment, and many community organizations are struggling to provide needed services for impacted residents in our region,” said Charles A. Freni, President and CEO of Central Hudson. “By contributing to the region’s major human services organizations, we hope to support their efforts to assist those in need.

“In addition, our local businesses and low-income households are especially impacted. Working with our community partners, this support will provide needed assistance during this emergency.”

Central Hudson will provide funding to the following organizations and initiatives:

  • $25,000 to Ulster County Project Resiliency – a countywide partnership to organize fundraising, meal delivery, and other support to those in need throughout the county following the outbreak of COVID-19. Funds raised will be used to purchase meals from local businesses and not-for-profit organizations, helping to keep dollars circulating in the local food economy.  This fund is being administered by the United Way of Ulster County.
  • $25,000 to Dutchess Responds – A coordinated effort with local agencies to respond to the needs of communities.  Established through Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley, the fund provides critical needs including food, medications and household essentials to individuals experiencing hardships or quarantine restrictions as a result of COVID-19.
  • $25,000 to Orange & Sullivan COVID-19 Response Fund -The Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan coordinates this fund, used to address immediate and longer-term needs of residents in Orange and Sullivan counties. This fund will distribute grants to established nonprofit organizations that provide front-line services to the counties’ most vulnerable populations – food and essentials for vulnerable families, such as prescription drug deliveries to homebound senior citizens and people with compromised immune systems.
  • $20,000 to Hudson Valley Food Bank – This organization distributes food to the charitable agency network serving disadvantaged residents. Central Hudson will also donate reusable grocery bags.
  • $5,000 to the Hudson Valley Additive Manufacturing Center at SUNY New Paltz for medical masks for COVID-19 mobile testing sites and the local medical community – The SUNY New Paltz Additive Manufacturing Center is using its 3-D printing capabilities to produce face shields for regional health care organizations, including Ulster County for the drive-through mobile testing station at Tech City and local hospitals and medical centers. Central Hudson was an initial funder of the 3-D Center through its economic development programs.
  • Good Neighbor Fund – Double Central Hudson’s corporate match of the Good Neighbor Fund for the next six months, for up to an additional $50,000.
  • $1 million in economic development for small business in 2020, working with county and state economic development partners.


Customer Support

“In addition to assisting communities, we are committed to supporting our customers during this challenging time,” said. Freni.

He explained that Central Hudson has temporarily suspended field collections-related activities, including service disconnections, to lessen any hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Central Hudson’s customer service representatives will continue to work with customers who need more time to pay their bill in this challenging time. Customers who have concerns about bill payment or other Central Hudson services are encouraged to reach out using Central Hudson’s online “web chat” feature, via email through the “Contact Us” page on the website, or by phone at 845-452-2700. For payment assistance options, visit

The utility is also supporting local restaurants affected by current restrictions on dining out by offering customers a $30 gift card to the eatery of their choice to the first 200 who enroll in paperless billing. More information is available on Central Hudson’s Facebook page at

For more information how Central Hudson is addressing the Coronavirus pandemic, visit

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Think Dutchess Update Regarding COVID-19, March 16, 2020


Think Dutchess Alliance for Business- Update on COVID-19


Economic Development organization remains vigilant at maintaining the economic stability of Dutchess County amid pandemic.


March 16, 2020


In light of the rapidly changing current events in regard to COVID-19, we want our business community to know that Think Dutchess is committed to the health, safety and economic well-being of our community and businesses.

In an effort to control the spread of this disease our staff is working both on-site and remotely. At the moment, our offices are open to assist you and answer any questions you may have during these unprecedented times. We ask that you call 845.463.5400 before you visit the office to assure that the right person is available to help, or email to be directed to someone that can assist your business

As we enter a new phase of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to note that Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is working closely with our partners to bring you the most accurate and up-to-date information. We are closely monitoring the situation and following the recommendations of Dutchess County and NY State Government as well as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Think Dutchess will remain vigilant in bringing together our partner organizations and resources to assure the economic stability of our Dutchess County businesses and nonprofits during, and after, this pandemic. We are actively collaborating and seeking solutions to support our community during, and in the aftermath of this extraordinary event. To further support our business community our Alliance partners have come together to bring you the Dutchess Business Notification Network. Subscribers to the Think Dutchess newsletter may receive important communications and information via the BNN in an effort to share important updates, guidelines, and information that our businesses and community will need going forward. If you wish to receive these communications you can do so by emailing : Additionally, we will continue to provide you updates via our social media channels and newsletter.

Stay safe. Stay healthy.

And thank you for “Think”ing Dutchess.


For more information about COVID-19 and what Dutchess County is doing to prevent the spread visit:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The New York State Department of Health

Dutchess County Government




About Think Dutchess Alliance for Business

Think Dutchess Alliance for Business is the one-stop shop for business development needs and activities in Dutchess County, New York. A business-led, nationally recognized economic development corporation, Think Dutchess’ mission is to attract, retain, and expand for-profit and not-for-profit businesses in Dutchess County. Think Dutchess’ organizational structure includes programs in business retention, expansion and attraction; financial counseling and deal structuring; zoning and permitting; commercial real estate; innovation and technology; strategic marketing and municipal advocacy. For more information about Think Dutchess Alliance for Business, visit

Three Dutchess County Tech Companies Jump-starting The Start-Up Scene

Startups. They may start small but their impact is enormous!

Growing technology startups have the potential to alter a local economy’s landscape through innovation, job growth, and wealth & talent attraction. Dutchess County understands the importance of supporting its startups. Through programs that remove barriers, facilitate connections, and empower entrepreneurs to reach transformational status, Think Dutchess is proud to welcome three up-and-comers set to become transformational businesses.

A recent article in Digital Journal recently highlighted three of our young entrepreneurs.


2019 Innovation Challenge winners Easton LaCheappelle of Unlimited Tomorrow and Dutchess Community College graduates Dana Jones and Jacob Earnst of Accessadoor are utilizing programs promoting innovation to radically disrupt industries. Returning Poughkeepsie graduate Jessica O. Matthews of Uncharted Power is leveraging Dutchess County’s prime location and Poughkeepsie’s growing investment to further research and development. By leveraging these resources, these companies are making advancements in tech, advancing research and development, and forming significant commitments with the local economy that places Dutchess County, NY on the map for startups.

Learn more about these Dutchess County startups jumpstarting the tech scene in the complete Digital Journal article below:

Originally Published on Digital Journal, March 4, 2020 by Tim Sandle

How New York state is becoming the place for tech startups

New startups and an evolving technology-friendly culture are turning Dutchess County, New York into a tech hub. The proximity to New York City, affordability, and new growth creates the a [SIC] fertile space for startups. We looks [SIC] at three examples.
New York state, along the Hudson River, is buzzing with new technology companies, especially in the Duchess County region. As an example of some start-ups that are making a difference with cutting edge developments, Digital Journal has selected three of interest. These range from a company that is creating prosthetic limbs with a 3D printer to one that is seeking to revolutionize the power infrastructure.


Uncharted Power

With a focus on changing the energy infrastructure in a cost-effective way, this new startup has quickly gained momentum. as an example, Jessica O’ Matthews, CEO of this growing enterprise, has raised a $7 million Series A funding (according to Forbes). This is the largest ever raised by a black female founder in the U.S.

The company began with energy-storing soccer balls and it has since grown into a having a patented suite of technologies that can harness the power of kinetic energy by collecting, storing, transporting and transferring the energy into useable power. The aim is to revolutionize power infrastructure by integrating a platform void of power lines. This will provide communities around the world with clean, low-cost and reliable energy. At the end of 2019, Uncharted Power announced a six-figure investment into facilities in Poughkeepsie, New York which is set to open in early 2020.


Marist College student Dana Jones founded the company Accessadoor in order to make all doors accessible, including for people with disabilities. This is by linking the door’s handicap system to an app. Nurtured by Dutchess County’s growing innovation space, 150 doors around Dutchess County will be included in the beta testing and the final product will be brought to market in early 2020.

Unlimited Tomorrow

Easton LaChappelle has been devising a solution, as Industry Week reports, to create an artificial limb device that is up to 95 percent cheaper than typical prosthetics and allows wearers to have a sense of touch to what they are feeling. LaChappelle partnered with both Microsoft and NASA and his company has collectively risen over $1 million through equity crowdfunding.

LaChapelle headquartered his firm in Rhinebeck, New York so that he could tap into the area’s access to an educated workforce and business support programs.



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