COVID-19 Resources and Initiatives for TAO Members

COVID-19 Resources and Initiatives for TAO Members

Last week, TAO put together a survey to learn more about our members’ responses to COVID-19 because many people were inquiring as to what peer organizations in the region were doing to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak.  The survey was intended to serve as a way for area tech companies to benchmark how they are addressing disruptions (workforce, market, etc.) caused by the virus.

During this unprecedented time, TAO is pulling together resources for its members on four fronts:

  • Data Collection/Benchmarking— TAO plans to send out an updated survey this week to see if/how things have changed since last week’s survey on ways local tech companies are responding to disruptions caused by COVID-19.
  • Professional Development/Best Practices— This week we are launching a virtual series presented by Comcast Business.  If you are interested in attending, sponsoring or contributing to this series, please contact Cara Snow at  In the meantime, please be sure to register for Changing Your Strategic Plan in the Time of Crisis, which is scheduled this week for March 18th. Other topics in the series will include:
  • Will working from home be the new norm? Why? Why not?
  • What are the HR implications of working from home?
  • What are the cybersecurity and data privacy implications of a virtualized workforce?
  • What is needed in terms of infrastructure to support an increased number of remote workers?  
  • Government Relief— TAO will continue sharing info from the Small Business Administration, Prosper Portland, and Business Oregon about business relief services available through federal, state and local government.  If you are a current TAO member and are not already set up in our online Mobilize network, please let us know at
  • Innovation Around Community Engagement and Community Problem-Solving— Tech solutions are a powerful way for organizations to achieve greater efficiencies and scale— even in a time of austerity.  TAO is able to connect just about anyone looking for this kind of support to any of the nearly 500 member companies within our network.
  • We are currently engaged in an extended design sprint working with local growers in the Mid-Valley, local government (the City of Independence), and academic institutions (Oregon State University) to identify agricultural challenges and develop tech solutions. We are in the process of developing a new approach to community hackathons and design sprints building on our current deconstructed approach to make this process even more virtualized.
  • Last week we reached out to payments companies with a presence in the area, connecting them to local economic development officials regarding whether they would be willing to share aggregate data about transaction volume for in-person sales among Portland small businesses.  
  • One of the ways in which people can support local small businesses despite social distancing is by purchasing gift cards, but many small businesses are not equipped to sell online.  At the request of Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read, TAO has requests out to several fintech companies to see whether those companies might be interested/able to provide support to area small businesses in this regard.    
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