Jon Godfread: Commerce deserves praise for response
In times of crisis, we often see good leadership emerge. This is a reality we have witnessed first hand here in North Dakota throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, while the leaders are the ones shown on TV or written about, it is the support from all the talented and dedicated people on Team ND that makes it possible for our state to succeed.
From all areas of our state government, we have engaged in a unified response that I think will be a model for how a state can and should respond to a crisis. These teams are what have taken us from good to great.
You can find examples of this greatness across every unit and certainly within my own team at the North Dakota Insurance Department. But, I want to specifically highlight the team at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. The level of coordination and engagement Commerce has led within our business community has been truly second to none. This is important because while our public health professionals aptly address the medical concerns of this pandemic, we need the efforts on display by Commerce to help address the economic ones. From the weekly business briefings to partnering with the Bank of North Dakota and the Greater North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, the team at Commerce has been able to provide much-needed guidance in this unprecedented time. Additionally, the quick action taken by Commerce, the Bank of North Dakota, the Small Business Administration and all our community banks to be ready to respond and submit millions of dollars of loan applications in record time will keep our economy afloat.
While we are still in the very early stages of recovery and there is much more work to be done, we are in as good of a position as we can be economically thanks to the collaborative efforts of Commerce Commissioner Michelle Kommer and her team at the North Dakota Department of Commerce. Responding during a global pandemic is certainly a larger stage and without question Commerce has answered the call.
We are unsure of what the rest of this recovery will look like, but there is one thing we can be sure of, the outstanding work done by folks within state government and within our business community sets North Dakota apart. It’s what has allowed our state to prosper over the past two decades and will set the state for prosperity into the future. Thank you to all those who have gone above and beyond in the last 60 days for the betterment of North Dakota.
Jon Godfread, a native of Grand Forks, is the North Dakota insurance commissioner.