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COVID 19 Updates

Chambers Respond to COVID-19 Crisis

Will Burns on Monday, March 23, 2020 at 12:00:00 pm

Chambers of commerce around the world are taking action to provide leadership and help member businesses and their communities deal with the challenges created by the COVID-19 outbreak.

ACCE launched our Coronavirus resource guide, and we continue to update it with relevant links, resources and templates chambers can use as a starting point for communicating with members, staff, event participants and more.

We’ve organized peer sharing calls for the CEOs within our community peer groups and chamber staff professionals within our divisions. We will continue to hold regular connection calls throughout the crisis.

Through this outreach we’ve pulled together examples and best practices, but we know that what we have now is just the tip of the iceberg. We encourage you to share your most innovative initiatives with us so that we can share it across the network. Email your examples to jpack@acce.org.   

Actions Chambers Are Taking

Keep Members Informed

Examples of chamber of commerce COVID-19 resource webpages:

Examples of member communication:

Hold virtual programs on topics relevant to business needs:

Send video updates to members:

Survey to Understand Impact

Member surveys can gain a sense of the economic impact and how the chamber can be most helpful.

Support Local Businesses

We’ve seen lots of activity focused on encouraging support for local businesses, with a heavy focus on restaurants due to mandated closures. Examples include:

Coordinate with Community Foundations and Other Stakeholders

Chambers do this all the time, but it’s especially important during times of crisis. Work with your community foundation on efforts to support businesses, employees and vulnerable populations within your community:

  • Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia worked with the city, the community foundation and other corporate and philanthropic partners to establish a fund to support local nonprofits on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PHL COVID-19 Fund will distribute money to nonprofit organizations that have a track record of helping at-risk groups such as seniors, people with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged and people experiencing homelessness.
  • The Baton Rouge Area Chamber promotes the Baton Rouge Area Foundation’s Employees First program. The program helps employers set up a grant to provide financial assistance to employees impacted by COVID-19 and receive beneficial tax deductions while doing so.
  • The Greater Des Moines Partnership promotes the Community Foundation of Greater Des Moines Disaster Recovery Fund, which focuses on disproportionately affected communities by addressing economic needs and the health impact on vulnerable populations caused by COVID-19 related closures and other impacts.
  • Greater Louisville Inc. was part of a community coalition who recently launched the One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund, which will rapidly deploy resources to individuals, businesses and community-based organizations working at the frontlines of our region’s coronavirus outbreak.

Chambers are working with a host of other partners to address short- and long-term challenges related to economic recovery.

  • Several Oregon chambers joined other community partners to release a joint statement encouraging swift action on a number of vital priorities.
  • Many chambers are working with businesses and workforce partners to connect displaced workers to job opportunities.

Tags: Covid-19

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