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Weekly Roundup 10/30/2020

Will Burns on Friday, October 30, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Winter is Coming

As the weather turns cold and restaurants continue to deal with COVID-driven capacity restrictions, chambers of commerce are seeking creative ways to support local restaurants. Here are a few examples:

  • The Greater Des Moines Partnership announced the recipients of its Extend the Season Grant program, which provided outdoor heating equipment to local restaurants to help them continue to offer outdoor dining as winter approaches.
  • The Alexandria Economic Development Partnership launched its Back to Business All Weather Grant program, which leverages $500,000 of CARES Act funds to provide eligible small businesses $5,000 grants to “winterize” outdoor business areas.
  • Rochester Downtown Alliance and Chamber of Commerce are working to provide $2,000 grants to restaurants to help them reinvent outdoor spaces to keep customers warm as the weather turns cold.
  • Several Rhode Island chambers are among the organizations that were awarded $3 million in grants to help the state’s businesses “Take it Outside.” The funds will be distributed to local businesses to help cover the costs of conducting business outdoors. 
  • The Waterbury Regional Chamber launched a BYOB campaign – Bring Your Own Blanket –to encourage consumers to support local restaurants by bringing their own blankets to dine comfortably outside.

 

Preparing for a Resurgence of COVID-19

  • The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce shared a checklist of items that corporate leaders can address to minimize disruption and protect employees, customers and other stakeholders.
  • A group of chambers in Michigan sent four recommendations to the governor and legislative leadership to inform ongoing policy decisions.
  • ACCE board member, Adam Marshall of the British Chambers of Commerce outlined five tests for governments as they consider additional shutdowns.

What steps has your chamber taken to prepare for a fall resurgence of COVID-19. Send your initiatives to Will Burns

 

What We’re Reading

  • Korn Ferry: As people head to the polls next week, election day may be only the beginning of a long period of uncertainty and anxiety.
  • Remote Worker Data: Recognizing that working-from-home will continue to increase over time, the National Association of REALTORS® conducted a study of the 3,142 counties that are best poised to provide a supportive environment for working remotely.
  • McKinsey & Company: The next normal will require true transformation, business model shifts that alter your operations at the cellular level to elevate performance and the capabilities of your people.
  • Transformation in St. Louis: The St. Louis Regional Chamber and four other organizations announced they will come together to combine their strengths into one organization to drive inclusive growth in St. Louis with a unified voice and bold agenda.      
  • Staffing Virtual Events: Staff roles for virtual events are different from in-person events. ASAE explores a few staff roles to help organizations deliver impactful virtual events.
  • Social Networks & Economic Mobility: New research from the Brookings Institution dives deeper into how social networks in Charlotte affect access to economic opportunity. Charlotte Regional Business Alliance SVP of Economic Research Chuck McShane discussed the research with the report’s author in a recent episode of the Alliance’s podcast.  
  • Preserve Trust & Electoral Integrity: An unprecedented number of civil society groups, including public interest organizations, business associations, and faith-based organizations, as well as political leaders, have mobilized around ensuring an inclusive, credible, and peaceful election.

Tags: Covid-19

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A Surge in Shopping Local Online

Will Burns on Monday, October 26, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

The COVID crisis has been tough on many Main Street businesses. And as we look toward the holiday shopping season, COVID-19 cases in the U.S. are growing at a speed not seen since July. In the midst of a pandemic, shopping local and buying online are no longer mutually exclusive.

Many resilient small business owners adjusted business practices and boosted their online presence in order to continue serving their customers. From curbside pickup and remote ordering to videoconference consultations and social media promotions, small businesses showcased their agility and consumers responded.

A recent report by Facebook and the Small Business Roundtable highlighted some of the ways small businesses are leveraging internet tools to adapt during the crisis. The survey found that:

  • 51 percent of businesses report increasing online interactions with their customers.
  • 35 percent of businesses that changed operations have expanded the use of digital payments.

It’s not just businesses that are adapting. Consumers are combining their enthusiasm for social media engagement with their desire to support favorite local businesses. Coffee shops, restaurants, craft breweries and quirky boutiques are part of what make our communities unique. Residents don’t want to see their favorite local businesses fail. In fact, the National Retail Federation reports that 49 percent of consumers “made a purchase specifically to support a local or small business.”

Countless chambers of commerce around the world encouraged this behavior through social media campaigns to promote shopping local. They pulled small businesses together and collected and shared information about operational changes like curbside pickup, adjusted hours, special promotions and more. Then they rallied consumers to support their town’s small businesses and encouraged them to share via social media platforms.

Here are just a handful of examples.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, it is more important than ever for chambers to continue to support their local businesses. Here are some partner resources that can help:

Tags: Covid-19

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Weekly Roundup 10/16/2020

Will Burns on Friday, October 16, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

#ChamberStrong COVID Initiatives 

  • The Greater Cleveland Partnership has set an aggressive 10-year plan that addresses the immediate and longer-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic while strengthening the region through inclusive, technology-based growth.
  • The Saratoga County Chamber will launch the “Save Our Local Businesses” campaign to help restaurants and other small businesses impacted by ongoing COVID restrictions during the year-end holidays. 
  • The Owen County Chamber of Commerce & EDC and the Owen County Community Foundation announced that the Owen County Economic Recovery Bridge Grant is now open for round two. Small businesses can apply for a grant of up to $5,000.
  • The Asheville Area Chamber hosted a virtual career expo this week. Job seekers could participate from any device with an internet connection and upload resume’s browse information about local employers and meet with prospective employers via chat or email.
  • The Greater Boston Chamber released its Roadmap to Economic Recovery this week, a set of policy principles developed to help lawmakers restore and strengthen the economy. 
  • Based on experiences through the pandemic, ten Montgomery County Pennsylvania chambers formed the Alliance of Montgomery County Chambers of Commerce to provide a vehicle for open dialog on emerging issues and establish a forum to leverage their collective voice for business advocacy.
  • The Irving-Las Colinas Chamber and Irving Hispanic Chamber are working with the city on its Emergency Business Assistance Grant Program, which just expanded eligibility to independently owned franchises, sole proprietors and home-based business owners.
  • The Nashville Area Chamber is working with the Nashville Entrepreneur Center to launch Renew Nashville, a citywide initiative designed to provide small businesses and entrepreneurs negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with world-class expertise and resources aimed at increasing their rate of survival.

What We're Reading

  • Based on interviews with more than 100 board directors, Korn Ferry contends that CEOs for the future will need to demonstrate inquisitiveness, agility, humility, and an insatiable appetite for learning like no generation before them.
  • LinkedIn recently explored generational differences in terms of how people are coping with the pandemic and reconnecting with the workplace.
  • Business Roundtable, representing over 200 CEOs, announced corporate actions and public policy recommendations to advance racial equity and justice and increase economic opportunity in America.
  • Axios: State officials plea for stimulus aid to save transit systems

Tags: Covid-19

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Weekly Roundup 10/9/2020

Will Burns on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

#ChamberStrong COVID Initiatives 

  • The Philadelphia Regional Recharge and Recovery Task Force, led by the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia and its CEO Council for Growth, released a Phase 1 recommendations and actions report detailing the immediate actions devised to stabilize the regional economy and ensure rapid recovery when businesses reopen.
  • Four chambers in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, chambers leveraged CARES Act funding to jointly develop a new program to support businesses and help them adapt to new methods to address COVID-related challenges.
  • Pocatello-Chubbuck Chamber of Commerce worked with the police department to promote civility and encourage business owners and patrons to be respectful and patient with safety measures put in place to protect employees and customers.
  • Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Community College RI Divisions of Workforce Partnerships to create a series of free courses to help displaces workers and companies that have transitioned to remote work access digital skills training to help individuals skill up.
  • The Red Bluff-Tehama County Chamber of Commerce will administer grant programs to distribute $320,000 in grants to small businesses impacted by the COVID crisis and statewide stay at home orders.
  • The Lindale Chamber Area Chamber created the Launch Local Festival to support businesses impacted by COVID-19 by creating an event that celebrates local companies, food, wineries and art.
  • The Springfield Area Chamber launched its Education Resource Center for employers to gather as much information about school reopening as possible in one centralized location to answer questions from parents and employers alike.
  • Barry Wilfahrt, CCE, IOM, President & CEO of the Grand Forks East Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce participated in an online Q&A with the Grand Forks Herald, discussing COVID-related issues and economic resilience in Grand Forks.
  • The Buffalo Niagara Partnership launched the It’s Our Job campaign to promote healthy behaviors, keep businesses open, encourage consumers to shop local and help stop the spread.
  • The Ponca City Chamber is holding a scavenger hunt through the month of October to increase foot traffic at local businesses and provide the community something fun to do.
  • The Salina Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation launched a small business grant program to assist small businesses with loss of income due to the impacts of COVID-19 and the stay at home order.
  • The Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the company Ritual to give member restaurants an opportunity to pivot more smoothly to an online ordering format customers can access through their phones.
  • With elections around the corner and voters encouraged to vote early or absentee, the South Bend Regional Chamber posted recordings of candidate interviews for many critical local races. 

What We’re Reading

  • New Public Affairs Council Poll finds the public is critical of the government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and believes the private sector has done a better job of balancing safety concerns with the need to re-open the economy. Learn more and browse other insights
  • HBR: The Uncertain Future of Corporate HQs - Richard Florida explores trends around the COVID-driven rise of remote work and what it could mean for office reentry and corporate location decisions.
  • RDG: In his latest blog post, Rob Radcliff explores how approaching philanthropic foundations for financial support is different from approaching corporations.
  • Cushman & Wakefield: A report and webinar analyzing COVID-19’s impact on the office sector. 

 

Tags: Covid-19

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ACCE Welcomes New Board Members

Will Burns on Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives welcomed 22 new members to its board of directors during the organization's annual meeting, held virtually on Sept. 29. 

Members of ACCE's board of directors represent chambers of all shapes and sizes, including many of the world's most influential regional chambers of commerce. A 14 member executive committee leads the 70 member board, which is currently chaired by Jay Byers, CCE, IOM, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. 

Chamber leaders appointed to the board last week include: 

Juliet Abdel, IOM
President & CEO
Westminster Chamber of Commerce

Alisha Benson, IOM
Chief Executive Officer
Greater Spokane Inc.

Kathy Blank
Vice President
McKinney Chamber of Commerce

Kati Capozzi
President & CEO
Alaska Chamber

Terra Carroll, CCEC, IOM
President & CEO
North Augusta Chamber of Commerce

Doris Carson Williams, CCE
President & CEO
African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania

Graham Cobb
President & CEO
Greater Bentonville Area Chamber of Commerce

Eric Godet Sr.
President & CEO
Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce

David Griggs, CEcD, EDFP
President & CEO
MetroHartford Alliance

Kenneth James
Director of Inclusion
Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce

Brad Lacy, CCE
President & CEO
Conway Area Chamber of Commerce

Rachel Morris, MBA
Executive Director
Rolesville Chamber of Commerce

Matt Morrow
President
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce

Jim Page, CCE, IOM
President & CEO
Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama

Matt Pivarnik, CCE, IOM
President & CEO
Greater Topeka Partnership

James Reddish, CEcD
Executive Vice President
Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce

Kuma Roberts
Vice President of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce

Beverly Robertson
President & CEO
Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce

Maria Salinas
President & CEO
Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

Kevin Sheilley
President & CEO
Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce

Ashli Watts
President & CEO
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Angela Whitcomb, IOM
President
Shakopee Chamber & Visitors Bureau

ACCE is a professional development organization serving the women and men who lead local, regional and statewide chambers of commerce and similar private sector-led economic development organizations around the world. The Alexandria, Va.-based association represents nearly 9,000 professionals who work for and with more than 1,300 chambers of commerce.

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ACCE Names New Board Chair & Executive Committee

Will Burns on Monday, October 5, 2020 at 12:00:00 am 

Jay Byers elected to lead Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Board of Directors

Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, was named chair of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Board of Directors during the organization’s annual meeting on Sept. 29.

“Jay is a future-focused leader and a community builder. During this disruptive time, we are grateful for his leadership and confident that the industry will benefit from his creativity and strategic thinking,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “The role of chambers of commerce has never been more crucial. Our association is fortunate to have a strong executive committee to lead our efforts to help chambers address the greatest challenges facing their communities.”

ACCE is a professional development organization serving the women and men who lead local, regional and statewide chambers of commerce and similar private sector-led economic development organizations around the world. The Alexandria, Va.-based association represents nearly 9,000 professionals who work for and with more than 1,300 chambers of commerce.

ACCE board chairs serve a one-year term. In this role, he will oversee activities of a 70-member board of directors that provides leadership and strategic direction to the association’s 25-person staff.

“As our industry continues to take on the challenges of COVID-19, racial inequity, unprecedented natural disasters and a toxic political climate, we can learn from lessons of the past and dig deep to find new innovative solutions as we lead our organizations and our communities into the future,” Byers said. “Some people talk about a different normal or the next normal, but I think we can create a better normal by being better at things such as sustainability, inclusion, innovation and resilience.” 

Byers noted that chambers must continue to leverage top thought leaders, build on the ongoing work of the Horizon Initiative, and be proactive about responding to influences and mega-trends that continue to shape the future of the industry. Byers said that ACCE’s priorities for the year ahead include:

  • Innovation and Disruption: Help chamber leaders be more effective change agents to position their organizations and communities for future success.
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Provide the chamber community with more DEI resources and training opportunities over the next year than we’ve ever done before.
  • Economic & Community Development: Support chamber efforts to lead through our current challenges and create opportunities for local economies and communities to thrive.
  • International Focus: Empower chambers to approach their work with a global perspective, whether advocating for trade to expand global markets and immigration reform to attract global talent or leading trade missions and recruiting foreign direct investment economic development deals.
  • Virtual Resources: Improve the association’s ability to showcase best practices, deliver helpful resources, facilitate peer learning opportunities and access professional development programing by launching an improved website and eLearning platform.

The other members of the ACCE Executive Committee announced during the Sept. 29 annual meeting include:

  • Chair-elect: Chip Cherry, CCE, President & CEO, Huntsville/Madison County Chamber
  • Immediate Past Chair: David Brown, President & CEO, Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce
  • Treasurer: Bill Sisson, President & CEO, Mobile Area Chamber 
  • Vice Chair: Christy Gillenwater, CCE, IOM, President & CEO, Chattanooga Area Chamber
  • Vice Chair: Michael Huber, President & CEO, Indy Chamber
  • Vice Chair: Sherry Menor-McNamara, CCE, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii
  • Vice Chair: Adrian Cain, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Chamber Programs, Charleston Metro Chamber
  • Metro Cities Council Chair: Carlos Phillips, President & CEO, Greenville Chamber of Commerce
  • Partnership Liaison: David Rumbarger, President & CEO, Community Development Foundation
  • Engaging the Public Sector Task Force: Adrienne Cole, President & CEO, Raleigh Chamber
  • International Engagement Task Force: Greg Durocher, President & CEO, Cambridge Chamber
  • ACCE Foundation Chair: Roy Williams, CCE, President & CEO, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
  • At Large: Jim Rooney, President & CEO, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce  
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Accrisoft is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Aventura World by Central Holidays West is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Benfits Trust is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Citslinc is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Collette is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Grow With Google is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE New Insperity The U.S. Chamber is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE
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