Think Dutchess Digital Ambassador- Richard Romano

Richard Romano- Screamin’ Onionz


We own Aha! American Healthy Appetite and we make shelf-stable jarred food products produced with whole ingredients from the Hudson Valley. Our signature product is Screamin’ Onionz which are NY State onions slow-cooked in craft sauces. We use 4 whole ingredients, are gluten-free, all-natural and have no added sugar. They replace raw onions in recipes, so they save time in the kitchen.

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I grew up in Hopewell Junction, but came back with my family after 20 years in the hotel & restaurant profession in Manhattan. Dutchess County always felt like home to me and now its great to share it with my wife and kids.  

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role?

My Dad bought a restaurant when I was 13. I worked there every weekend, along with a paper route, and all summer long, until I graduated high school and left for culinary school. I also worked in the kitchen at IBM Poughkeepsie and helped to serve thousands of people a day. This prepared me as I headed off to Manhattan to become an Executive Chef, General Manager, Director of Operations and to eventually assist struggling restaurants with distressed property turnaround and later opening a bunch of restaurants for notable chefs and restaurateurs. Some of which ran the highest-grossing restaurants in the country. Dutchess County provided me with the base I needed to succeed.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

We love to be outdoors for a nice walk, riding bikes along the rail trail and hiking, when we have time. I love watching the stars at night, identifying constellations, and looking at the moon with my children. I used to love doing that as a kid.  

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

I really have to say that our favorite eateries are the ones that support our Screamin’ Onionz. They really helped us understand the versatility and ease of use of our product which led to creating them in gallons. This led to us approaching private and public schools. We thank them so much for their faith in us.

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

I would say they’d be surprised at all the farms, farm markets and specialty producers utilizing locally grown products for their creations.

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

I would let them know to look into the Dutchess County organizations supporting small business growth here. We didn’t realize the overwhelming amount of assistance and programs here geared towards propping up businesses.  For us, the Think Dutchess Pitch Competition led us to be a Think Dutchess Ambassador which led us to the Hudson Valley Agribusiness Corporation’s “Farm and Food Funding Accelerator.” The Think Dutchess pitch competition really prepared us to go in front of potential investors, to hopefully procure investment for the growth of our company within the next few months. 


Think Dutchess checked in with our Ambassadors during the NY State Pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the county moved 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.


Think Dutchess Statement Regarding National Dialogue on Racial Justice

These last few weeks have been difficult. We have struggled to find the words to express how saddened we are over the losses of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and countless others because there are no words that make sense of re-occurring racism and unequal justice. We join our country in grieving these horrific events and stand with our black friends, neighbors, businesses and organizations, in Dutchess County and throughout the country, to fight for safety and equality for everyone.

We at Think Dutchess are proud to serve such a diverse community of business owners, nonprofits and residents. As an economic development organization, our mission is to improve the lives of our community. We are proud to partner and support our local organizations that have a shared mission and goals to educate, empower and support a diverse business environment.

Our country has responded to the collective calls of our communities to address issues of racism and social injustice. Peaceful protests on June 3, 2020, in the City of Poughkeepsie and throughout Dutchess County were a wonderful example of how our community can come together to listen and begin transformative conversations toward change. Think Dutchess stands in solidarity with organizations and partners like Community Matters 2, Nubian Directions, Northern Dutchess NAACP, The Youth One Stop, Middle Main and Hudson River Housing which are leading these conversations.

Think Dutchess is committed to facilitating an equitable economic recovery in Dutchess County for all people, businesses, and communities.  We are listening and willing to talk about the issues affecting your business and your community. You can count on Think Dutchess to support you through this time and to stand in solidarity to fight for equity and economic justice – today and always.


Think Dutchess Digital Ambassador- Dana Jones

Dana Jones- Accessadoor

Profession: Founder and CEO of Accessadoor, LLC

What attracted you to Dutchess? I was born and raised in Dutchess County. After being able to experience the area as a resident first I knew it was the exact environment I needed to be in to start my company.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? After growing up here and having a solid foundation of family and friends, it has allowed me to explore different interests and passions which eventually led me to becoming an entrepreneur. With all of the available resources available to small businesses and those just starting their entrepreneurial journey I knew I was exactly where I needed to be.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity? One of my favorite things to do in my free time is to explore all the new restaurants and breweries in the area. It is a great way to spend time with friends and find new places to visit.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery? My favorite eatery in Dutchess County is Lola’s

What do you think would be a surprise to anyone visiting Dutchess for the first time? Well growing up in the area I think the one thing that has surprised me over the years is its ability to attract large corporations in addition to its constant ability to evolve and improve the area for people of all ages and interests.

Advice to anyone visiting or looking to do business in Dutchess? For anyone looking to do business in the area, reach out to other business owners. Everyone is extremely helpful and willing to help each other. It is a really tight-knit community and we all want to see each other succeed so don’t be afraid to ask around and get first-hand feedback.


Think Dutchess checked in with our Ambassadors during the NY State Pause from the COVID-19 pandemic. As the county moved 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.



Guidelines for Reopening Dutchess County

On Friday, May 22, Governor Cuomo approved the Mid-Hudson Region to begin Phase 1 of reopening contingent upon adequate numbers of contact tracers.  Beginning Tuesday, May, 26 Dutchess County is ready to move forward and begin the reopening plan. Information on reopening safely can be found in the links below.
Additionally, the Governor also announced the state would begin a loan program for small businesses and nonprofits with less than 20 full-time equivalent employees. Small landlords who have seen a loss of rental income also qualify for the program. This program would provide a low-interest loan to be paid off over 5 years. Pre-application for these funds will be opened on May 26. For more information on the program, click HERE.

New York Forward Business Reopening Lookup Tool

Businesses in each region will be able to re-open in phases. Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities. Essential businesses and business activities that are open, will be able to remain open.

This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply. The guidelines accessible via the tool below apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open. Eligibility for reopening will be determined by health metrics for each region.

New York Forward Safety Plan Template

Each business including those that have been designated as essential under Empire State Development’s Essential Business Guidance, must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. This plan does not need to be submitted to a state agency for approval but must be retained on the premises of the business and must bemade available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection. Business owners should refer to the State’s industry-specific guidance for more information on how to safely operate. For a list of regions and sectors that are authorized to re-open, as well as detailed guidance for each sector, please visit:

If your industry is not included in the posted guidance but your business has been operating as essential, please refer to ESD’s Essential Business Guidance and adhere to the guidelines within this Safety Plan.

Business Affirmation Form

OSHA Returning to Work Resources

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has provided general information and guidance for businesses as they reopen. The guidelines are broken down by industry and the website offers additional resources to reopen safely. 

Returning to Work Resources

CDC Reopening Guidance For Workplaces

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released additional guidance for cleaning and disinfecting public spaces, workplaces, businesses, schools, and homes while preparing to reopen. Additional resources to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are also available.

CDC Reopening Guidance

NY Department of Labor FAQs for Employers

NYS DOL has provided additional information regarding frequently asked questions for employers.


Additional Information

Regional Monitoring Dashboard

Reopening Metrics Explanation

Industry Reopening Guidelines


Think Dutchess Digital Ambassdor- Nicholas Mauro

Nicholas Mauro – Marist College

Profession: Manager of Recruitment and Workforce Development at Marist College.  Owner, YourCareerSpark LLC, an HR consulting and career services firm.

What attracted you to Dutchess?

I was born and raised in Poughkeepsie, and after college graduation I moved around the NYC area and New Jersey.  While away, I came to appreciate Dutchess County and looked for an opportunity to return.  I have called Dutchess County home again for the last 10 years.  During that time, I have found many opportunities personally, professionally and in volunteering in the community.  I will continue to call Dutchess County home for many years to come.

How has Dutchess County influenced you and your professional role? 

Marist College is a leading higher education institution and I have been fortunate to be mentored by the College’s senior leadership.  Marist College is a special place to build a career.  There is also a strong business community in Dutchess County with a many talented, innovative, and ambitious leaders and entrepreneurs.   I was inspired by my participation in the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce program – Leadership Dutchess.  Leadership Dutchess is a unique opportunity to learn, grow and become involved in the community and the future of the region.

Favorite Dutchess County past-time or activity?

One of my favorite past-times is an early morning bike ride on the Dutchess County Rail Trail across the Walkway Over the Hudson.  In the spring, summer and fall, First Friday in Poughkeepsie is a great outdoors festival and celebration of local businesses and restaurants.

Favorite Dutchess County eatery?

There are too many great eateries to choose from in Dutchess County.  For Italian check out Rossi’s Deli.  Craft beer and cocktails its Melzingah’s in Beacon or Schatzi’s in Poughkeepsie.  A night out for dinner, its Terrapin in Rhinebeck, Trattoria Locanda in Fishkill, or one of the great restaurants at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.

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

Dutchess County is a diverse community that is large enough to have something for everyone but small enough to have a strong sense of community.  Dutchess has some of everything that makes New York State great, all in one county.  We are a train ride to New York City, we have farms and great tourism to experience, world class restaurants, breweries & wineries, the arts, and a wide variety of cities, towns, and villages to explore, each with their own character.

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

Visit the towns and cities – head south and go north.  Meet the team at ThinkDutchess.  Have dinner at a restaurant with your favorite cuisine and talk to the owner.  Talk to the businesses in the county that compliment yours.  Give yourself plenty of time to explore Dutchess, there is much to see and experience.

Think Dutchess checked in with Nick, to see what his thoughts were on the effects of the COVID-19 on Dutchess County. Learn more about how Nick is getting involved and supporting the community.


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



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.



A premier business-led organization, Think Dutchess Alliance for Business brings together 11 agency partners creating a one-stop shop for your site selection, financing, incentives, permitting and advocacy, strategic planning and counseling, marketing and networking needs.