Local Chambers of Commerce Help Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic
Chambers of Commerce are mobilizing to help local businesses learn about virtual resources, grants, and more during a difficult time. Dawn Sperr with I-94 West Chamber of Commerce and Shannon Full with TwinWest Chamber of Commerce share what they are doing and how we as a community can help.
Chamber Opens Resources to All
TwinWest Chamber of Commerce says the biggest reaction from their members because of COVID-19 is extreme uncertainty.
“We know it will hurt every business, no matter what,” said Shannon Full, president and CEO. “Our goal is to make sure the local economy can weather the storm the best we can.”
The chamber immediately began to deploy resources and open up their forums and information to everyone, not just members. Full says they started thinking about ways to help businesses “navigate through chaos.” They posted resources for federal, state, and local aid on their website as well as information to support community and nonprofits. It’s a rapidly changing landscape. Just last week the governor announced small businesses owners eligible to apply for disaster loans.
The chamber also launched calls through the teleconferencing app Zoom for businesses to participate in forums with attorneys, legislators and experts. Topics are now along the lines of how to manage and effectively communicate with remote or virtual workplaces.
Reach out and Support your Local Businesses
Anyway people can reach out and support their local business is a good right now.
“Get takeout from a local restaurant, take a fitness class virtually,” said Full. “It’s really imperative to support those businesses and think outside of the box on how to support those businesses.”
The I-94 West Chamber of Commerce says it’s a good time to think local.
“They need us as much right now as we need to also get out and limit our exposure,” said Dawn Sperr, president and CEO of the I-94 West Chamber of Commerce.
The chamber says they felt a bit of panic from their members, but that everyone has reacted very calmy in the shift to operate virtually. Sperr says she’s seen several positive stories in people reacting in a way to support one another.
“People are really doing what they can to lift up and encourage other people,” said Sperr.
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