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Supporting Infants, Toddlers and Parents in Economic Recovery

Amy Shields on Thursday, September 10, 2020 at 11:00:00 am 

The lack of quality, affordable early childhood programs is one of the most pressing issues for working parents today. Chambers can be effective change agents and advocates for early childhood education in communities across the country. Focusing on infants and toddlers is good for the economy, good for our youngest children and good for our workforce, both today and tomorrow.

The statistics surrounding the availability of quality early education programs are concerning. Only 7% of eligible children are served by Early Head Start, and the cost of infant care is more expensive than in-state public college tuition in 33 states. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of quality childcare programs even more drastically. According to a Bipartisan Policy Center survey in early April, 61% of parents reported their child care provider closed due to COVID-19.

Quality early education is also instrumental in developing the next generation of the workforce. Critical development happens from ages 0-3 age group, which can be foundational for growth and development later in life. Research shows that investing in programs for infants and toddlers can help bridge equity gaps, promote economic mobility for working families and provide foundational resources to set infants and toddlers up for academic success.

Chambers of commerce are uniquely capable of providing business knowledge and supporting local initiatives to help local early childhood programs and working parents. The Rogers-Lowell Chamber of Commerce recently committed to taking part in an early childhood task force in Arkansas. Steve Cox, senior vice president of economic development, shared, “Our Chamber is excited to be working with Cirricula Concepts to help increase access and overall quality of early childhood education for the Northwest Arkansas region. As we continue to grow and thrive as a region, it is vital to invest time and resources into providing affordable high-quality early childhood education for children and parents. These initiatives fall in line with our workforce and economic development mission work. We work with area organizations to train childcare providers and assist in opening new facilities to allow our existing workforce to stay active in their careers without worrying about access to quality childcare. Programs such as our Kindergarten to Job (K2J) and partnerships with area schools and childcare facilities are creating education pathways and setting up future generations for career success that can bring about generational change.”

Here are some other examples of how chambers are approaching early childhood supports:

ACCE’s roundtable call on this topic last year provided other examples of innovative programs in this area. You may also find ACCE’s brief Earliest Supports for Equitable Economic Recovery helpful. For more information on what is happening at the state policy level and research on building a state roadmap to support infants and toddlers, visit the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center. With increased support of early childhood education programs, chambers can support the workforce of today and the foundation for a better tomorrow.

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The Week's #ChamberStrong COVID News

Will Burns on Friday, August 28, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Summer is coming to a close, but chambers of commerce remain hard at work, supporting local businesses and promoting economic recovery. Here are a few recent examples we noticed this week:

  • Commerce Lexington’s access loan program has approved $2,187,230 in grants to 151 businesses, an average of almost $14,500 per business. The $2.5 million small business stimulus program could wrap next week, but some members of the Urban County Council already are talking about a round 2 at some point.
  • The Joplin Chamber launched the Ideas on Tap program to support those who have been laid off by with resources, programs, education, and places for people to work and start businesses of their own.
  • The Cape Cod Chamber is helping businesses in key industries like tourism adapt and identify opportunities in a changing economy.
  • The Terre Haute Chamber supporting businesses to help the downtown core evolve through the pandemic
  • Family Forward NC was launched to help businesses of all sizes adopt family-friendly policies to improve child and family well being. Ashville Area Chamber President & CEO Kit Cramer is on the Initiative’s advisory council.
  • The Metro Atlanta Chamber released the final report of its RESTORE Initiative that includes more than 120 recommendations to help Georgia recover quickly.

Keep sharing your examples with us. Email Will Burns at wburns@acce.org.

Tags: Covid-19

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More #ChamberStrong Examples of Community COVID Response

Will Burns on Friday, August 21, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

 This week, we continue to share a variety of examples for how chambers of commerce are supporting their communities through challenging times, from facilitating access to capital and measuring economic impact to distributing personal protective equipment and launching new initiatives to help small businesses rebound and survive.

  • The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and city of Tuscaloosa gave a final round of funding to businesses hit hard by COVID-19 -- $84,279 in funding to 38 businesses. In all 230 Tuscaloosa businesses have received funds from the $1M the city awarded to the chamber.
  • The Durango Chamber in Colorado received $60,000 from a local resort and charitable foundation to launch programs to support local businesses, including educational programs and scholarships to cover chamber membership.
  • The Nashville Area Chamber’s Research Center created models to forecast the economic impact to the State of Tennessee and the joint Nashville and Clarksville MSAs as a result of COVID-19. View the complete analysis here.
  • The Northern Virginia Chamber launched NOVA Member Connector website to help the businesses that have been hit hardest during the COVID crisis and tell inspiring community stories.
  • The Association of Washington Business and a broad coalition of employer advocates continue to urge Washingtonians to wear face coverings in public through its Stay Safe Washington initiative.
  • The Santa Maria Valley Chamber is providing free personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, face masks and face shields, to struggling small businesses with 20 employees or fewer.
  • The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce partnered with the city to launch www.LNKPPE.com, a website to help connect the community with locally sources personal protective equipment.
  • The South Carolina Chamber teamed up with Duke Energy to launch a new program to help small businesses rebound and survive the COVID crisis, though targeted mentoring in crucial areas like marketing, legal support and finance.

Keep sharing your examples with us. Email Will Burns at wburns@acce.org

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Creative Ideas to Address Community Challenges

ACCE Staff on Friday, August 14, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

The U.S. Congress left town without an agreement on a new COVID-19 stimulus package, but chambers of commerce continue working to support economic recovery in the communities they serve. Here are a few interesting best practice examples we wanted to share this week:

Getting Capital to Small Businesses

Helping Businesses Reopen Safely

  • The Spartanburg Area Chamber launched a fast-turnaround testing partnership to provide businesses with access to timely, reliable and affordable COVID-19 testing.
  • The Odessa Chamber of Commerce teamed up with Discover Odessa and local arts partners to create the #MaskUpOdessa Poster Contest to encourage the community to wear masks. See the winners here.
  • The Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council, an organization founded by the Greater Miami Chamber and Greater Miami Progress Foundation, launched a platform where certified MBEs that supply PPE products can be connected with buyers.
  • The Newport Beach Chamber rolled out a free sign campaign to spread the word about the importance of wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines.
  • Thanks to the ongoing support of member businesses, the Greenville Chamber’s Mask Up initiative continues to provide free masks to small businesses and nonprofits who need them.

Navigating School Reopening & Child Care Challenges

Helping Businesses and the Community Navigate

  • Kalispell Chamber hosted a webinar with the superintendent of the school system.
  • The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber created a Child Care Task Force to identify creative solutions for child care as schools transition to remote learning.
  • The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama is compiling a database of child care service providers to support working parents searching for options.
  • The Missoula Chamber is conducting a child care survey and working with the United Way and Missoula Economic Partnership to develop creative solutions to address child care needs.
  • Also, view recent webinars from ACCE and the U.S. Chamber.

 

Keep sending us the great work your chambers are doing so that we can share it in future updates. Email Will Burns at wburns@acce.org.  

Tags: Covid-19

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Chamber Leaders Selected for ACCE Economic Recovery Fellowship

Amy Shields on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 2:00:00 pm 


ACCE is pleased to announce that 42 chamber of commerce professionals, representing urban and rural communities from 24 states, have been selected by ACCE to participate in its Fellowship for Economic Recovery.

Throughout this year-long, immersive executive development program, fellows will address different aspects of economic recovery— from education and talent to economic development and entrepreneurship. The curriculum will focus on strategies for building more equitable economic outcomes and creating economies that work for everyone. 

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this executive leadership training initiative and the high caliber of applicants,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Ann Kelly. “The Fellowship is the latest step in our strategy to engage business leaders and advocates in shaping recovery efforts, building resilient local economies and creating opportunities for everyone in the community to thrive.”

ACCE’s Fellowship for Economic Recovery is designed to help chambers refine their economic recovery goals and ultimately help the business associations nationwide build replicable programs and processes. The program will begin with its first virtual session in September.

 

2020 Education and Talent Development Fellows

Lucia Cape
Senior Vice President, Economic Development
Huntsville/Madison County Chamber (Ala.)

Kim Casko 
President & CEO
Iowa City Area Business Partnership (Iowa)

Tori Colarusso
Director of Communications and Leadership Development
Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (Vt.)

Krystal Crockett
President/CEO
Bixby Metro Chamber of Commerce (Okla.)

Regina Duncan
President
Nassau County (Florida) Chamber of Commerce (Fla.)

Tiffany Esposito, CCE 
President & CEO
SWFL Inc. (Fla.)

Julie Forsythe
Senior Vice President, Business & Economic Growth
Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce (Iowa)

Michael Gallops
President/CEO
Rowlett Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Cheryl Garrison
Director of Talent and Workforce Development
Greenville Chamber (S.C.)

Claire Greenwood
Vice President and Executive Director, CEO Council for Growth
Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia (Pa.)

Michael Haley
Executive Director, Wake County Economic Development; Senior Vice President, Raleigh Chamber of Commerce
Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce (N.C.)

Kaylie Hogan-Schnittker
Director of Talent Strategy
Lincoln Partnership for Economic Development (Neb.)

Miles Huff
Senior Director of Talent Initiatives
Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce (Tenn.)

Jeffrey Hunt, CCE
President & CEO
Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (N.Y.)

Ann Hutchison
Executive Vice President
Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce (Colo.)

Katerina Klawes
Program Manager
Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce (Wis.)

Clint Knight
Director of Workforce Development
Richland Area Chamber & Economic Development (Ohio)

Jessica Linder Gallo
President/CEO
Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ill.)

Kelle Marsalis, CCE, IOM
President & CEO
Plano Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Freddy Mawyin
Senior Economic Advisor
Topeka Chamber - Greater Topeka Partnership (Kan.)

Debbi Moore
President/CEO
Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce (N.M.)

Glenn Morris
President & CEO
Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce (Calif.)

Saul Newton
Executive Director
Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce (Wis.)

Gabriela Ortigoni
President & CEO
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metro Orlando (Fla.)

Jim Page
President & CEO
Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama

Scott Pedowitz
Government Affairs Manager
Arlington Chamber of Commerce (Va.)

Tanya Perea Doose
CEO & Director
Western Garfield County Chamber of Commerce | aka | Rifle Area Chamber (Colo.)

Douglas Peters
President & CEO
Abilene Chamber of Commerce (Texas)

Theresa Pinto
Executive Director
Lake City-Columbia County Chamber of Commerce (Fla.)

Gary Plummer
President & CEO
Wichita Regional Chamber of Commerce (Kan.)

Breann Preston
Director of Market Intelligence
Colorado Springs Chamber and EDC (Colo.)

Caitlin Pusateri
Vice President, Leadership Development
Rockford Chamber of Commerce (Ill.)

Rue Ramsey
Vice President Workforce & Talent Strategies, Economic Development
Tulsa Regional Chamber (Okla.)

James Reddish
Executive Vice President
Little Rock Regional Chamber (Ark.)

Laura Stewart
Vice President of Community Engagement
Forsyth County Chamber (Ga.)

Sara Swisher
Vice President of Talent & Workforce
Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce (Ohio)

Christi Taylor
Director, Programs and Employer Partnerships
Detroit Regional Chamber (Mich.)

Patty VanderWal
President
Prattville Area Chamber of Commerce (Ala.)

Corine Waldau
Economic Development Director
Boulder Chamber (Colo.)

Cindy Williams
CEO
Cartersville-Bartow Chamber (Ga.)

Erik Williams
Director of Community Development
Vail Valley Partnership (Colo.)

Rebecca Wood
Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Investor Development
Greater Louisville Inc. (Ky.)

Tags: Economic Development, Economic Recovery, Economic Recovery Fellowship, Entrepreneurship, workforce

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National Survey to Identify Small Business Funding Programs

Will Burns on Monday, August 3, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Economic recovery for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic prompts a series of critical, practical questions:

  • What resources exist to support US small businesses during the on-going response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • How many of them are capitalized by federal, state, non-profit, or philanthropic funding and have special requirements?
  • How many target micro businesses?
  • How many are focused on supporting minority business owners, veteran business owners, and woman business owners?
  • If you are helping a small business better understand their options to endure the economic impacts of the pandemic, what resources exist in your state?

ACCE is working with several national organizations to ask our members to help gather this information so it can be readily accessed from a single source.

Please share this message and link with your network of funding resources – community foundation, local CDFI, etc. Completing this questionnaire should take less than five minutes and it will yield significant insights regarding the available support for small businesses across our nation.  It is anticipated that a wide range of vital resources will be identified through the broad networks of business and economic development partners.

Here is the survey link: https://forms.gle/VUbkdWwnE29GE1sGA

This questionnaire will remain open for input until August 14.

Since we are partnering with multiple organizations, it is possible that you will receive a request to complete this more than once.  Please complete the form only once.  

Thank you for helping us canvas the nation to identify vital resources to support our nation’s small businesses.

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Meet the Newest Certified Chamber Executives

Tania Kohut on Wednesday, July 22, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Six chamber of commerce leaders have recently joined an elite roster of professionals who have earned the Certified Chamber Executive (CCE) designation.

The first CCE designation was conferred more than 40 years ago. CCE is recognized as the highest professional designation in the chamber of commerce profession. It’s the only globally-recognized certification program exclusive to the chamber of commerce industry.

“We are thrilled to have this year’s class join a long tradition of professional excellence,” said Matt McCormick, CCE, IOM, president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce (Mo.) and CCE commission chairman. “Chamber professionals who are designated CCEs have earned this recognition through hard work, countless hours of dedication to the chamber industry and leadership of their chamber to achieve the organization’s goals.”

Congratulations, from your friends at ACCE!

These six leaders represent chambers of commerce in six states, including Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma and Texas.

Jane Clark, CCE, IOM
Jane Clark has served as president of the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce since 2012. Jane currently serves as vice chair of the ACCE Foundation Board of Directors, is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100 and is a former member of the ACCE Board of Directors. In 2019, she was recognized with the MACP Michigan Chamber Professional Award and in 2020 was recognized as one of the 50 Most Influential Women in West Michigan. Jane focused her CCE presentation on the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS), a transformative leadership and management tool she has implemented with the West Coast Chamber and has shared with chamber professionals nationwide.

 

Brian E. Hall, CCE
Brian has served as senior vice president and executive director of equity and inclusion of the Greater Cleveland Partnership since 2014. He has served on the board of directors of University Hospital Health Systems, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the University of Cincinnati Foundation. He has been honored as Distinguished Alumnus by Baldwin Wallace University, Bridge Builder by the American Jewish Committee and Man of the Year by Cleveland Public Theater. Brian focused his CCE presentation on the process to launch CommitCLE, a focused cohort of major corporations agreeing to expand opportunities and growth for MBE firms.

 

Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, CCE, MPA, IOM
Sarah has served as president & CEO of Greater Louisville Inc. (GLI) since January 2020. She has been with GLI since 2014, rising from leading GLI’s government affairs activities as vice president of government affairs to now president & CEO. Sarah serves on several community boards, including Evolve 502, Louisville Fund for the Arts, Leadership Louisville, Louisville Downtown Development Board, KentuckianaWorks and Louisville Entrepreneurship Acceleration Partnership. Sarah is the recipient of several notable awards including 2020 Business First’s National Influencers to Watch, 2020 Louisville Business First’s Enterprising Woman and 2019 ACCE 40 under 40. Sarah focused her CCE presentation around the comprehensive sales and revenue growth initiatives she led at GLI, which also led it to be named a 2019 ACCE Chamber of the Year. 

 

Jim Johnson, CCE, IOM
Jim has served as president & CEO of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce since 2018. Prior to joining the Chamber, Jim was president & CEO of the Lufkin/Angelina County Chamber of Commerce and served as the vice president of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Jim is a board member of the Western Association of Chamber Executives and the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives. He currently serves on the faculty for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management. Jim focused his CCE presentation on a campaign that engaged the community to relaunch businesses forced to evacuate and close operations following a gas leak that spread throughout Georgetown’s unique soil. 

 

Tiffany Tauscheck, CCE, IOM, CDME
Tiffany has served as chief strategy officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership since 2017, serving as chief communications officer for the two years prior. Prior to joining the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Tiffany was vice president of marketing and development at Catch Des Moines. Tiffany is chair of ACCE’s Marketing and Communications Advisory Board and has been named as a national Forty Under 40 honoree by USAE and Development Counsellors International. Tiffany focused her CCE presentation on The Partnership’s 5-year Investor Campaign.

 

Allison B. Walden, CCE, CFRE, IOM
Allison joined the Tulsa Regional Chamber in 2010 and serves as senior vice president of resource development. During her tenure, Walden has overseen campaigns garnering more than $60 million toward the chamber’s mission. She sits on the Southeast Board of Regents for the Institute for Organization Management with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and serves as a sales mentor and advisory board member for ACCE’s Membership Development Division. Walden also sits on the board of directors for the Oklahoma Quality Foundation and YWCA Tulsa. Previous honors include 40 Under 40 recognitions from ACCE in 2019 and in 2016 by Oklahoma Magazine. Allison focused her CCE presentation on member/customer segmentation and non-dues revenue cultivation strategy. 

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Congress to Take Up Next COVID Relief Bill We Need Your Voice

Will Burns on Monday, July 20, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Congress returns this week and is expected to begin debating the details of the next COVID relief package.

According to the latest reports, the two parties remain far apart on several key issues, including expanded unemployment benefits, funding for state and local government, school funding, liability protections and more. House Democrats passed a $3 trillion Heroes Act in May. Senate Republicans are expected to introduce a $1 trillion package this week.

This fourth relief package could be the last major initiative before the election. As the debate begins, ACCE encourages you to contact your federal officials and urge them to support expanding eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program to chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations.

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How is Your Chamber Engaging on School Reopening?

Will Burns on Friday, July 17, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As many regions of the country continue to deal with COVID-19 spikes and new rounds of shutdowns, this week’s chamber peer calls raised lots of questions and concerns around schools reopening in the fall. 

Just this week, California’s two largest school districts announced that instruction will be online-only this fall. Different jurisdictions are taking different approaches to reopening schools, creating struggles for chambers seeking to help businesses navigate workforce challenges created by the unpredictability of fall school schedules.

We know that lots of chambers are having discussions with government and school district leaders. ACCE is interested in learning more about how your chamber is engaging on these challenging issues. If you have any input to share with the rest of the chamber community, or if your chamber has issued a statement on school reopen, please share it with me at wburns@acce.org.

Here are a few recent examples we’ve come across. 

  • The Greater Boston Chamber has been very active trying to gain a greater understanding of the plan for reopening schools. The Chamber’s “Future of Boston” series will hold an event on August 4 to hear from state and city leaders, and help industries and communities thrive.
  • The Kentucky Chamber continues to keep members informed about ongoing discussions between state and local government and education leaders. The chamber also published an op-ed to highlight the critical importance of affordable and reliable broadband for students participating in distance learning activities.
  • Greater Rochester Chamber President & CEO discussed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plans to make his announcement the first week of August during a recent video update to members.
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Chambers Continue to Wrestle with Reopening Challenges

Will Burns on Friday, July 10, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

As our communities continue efforts to reopen amid the COVID-19 crisis, chambers of commerce are working to address ongoing challenges to help avoid additional spikes, shutdowns and dips in consumer confidence.

Promoting responsible behavior around social distancing and facial coverings remains a priority. Many chambers placed their initial focus on rallying their business members around responsible reopening guidelines as a way to promote safety and boost consumer confidence as restrictions ease and consumers return to shopping, dining and recreation.

Discussion on recent ACCE roundtable calls has shifted to marketing efforts to promote responsible behavior to the public as local debates around mask mandates continue in many communities. With local mandates varying widely and confusion around enforcement and liability issues, last week we saw the U.S. Chamber and other business associations call for national standards on masks.

Examples of outreach to promote wearing masks
Many chambers have launched or supported regional initiatives to promote wearing masks:

 

What We’re Reading

 

Recent ACCE Programs

  • Membership: Webinar on selling in the age of COVID featuring the Nashville Area Chamber and Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches.
  • YP Programs: Webinar on how chamber YP programs are adapting amid the COVID-19 crisis featuring the Tulsa Regional Chamber and ChamberRVA.
  • Events: Several recent Events Division calls focused on virtual and hybrid events.
  • View all upcoming webinars and roundtable calls.

Tags: Covid-19

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