Chamber helping businesses navigate ‘new normal’
The Webster Chamber of Commerce has been guiding businesses through the chaos stemming from COVID-19.
Starting in mid-March, businesses were receiving new information on what could and couldn’t be done, as well as how to protect customers and employees. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act added new requirements and challenges to secure financial assistance.
The Chamber started gathering and distributing daily information to its members via email and a website devoted to COVID-19. Zoom meetings provided the opportunity to talk about the shared challenges face-to-face.
Updates covered closings, essential workers, government guidelines, executive orders, restrictions, emergency programs from the federal and state government, unemployment information for employers and employees, Small Business Administration grants, and emergency loans.
“It was a huge amount of information coming to us in a short period of time,” CEO Barry Howard said. “Sometimes we were able to post website updates within minutes of new information arriving and many days the website was updated numerous times.”
As New York started to plan reopening, the Chamber served as a distribution point for businesses to get masks for their employees and customers. Through Monroe County and the town of Webster channels, it distributed nearly 7,000 masks and gallons of hand sanitizer provided by state Sen. Pam Helming, R-54th District.
“Supporting our members throughout the COVID-19 situation has been a welcomed challenge,” Howard said. “It has been very rewarding to hear our members tell us that we helped them through it and that they see the value of belonging to the Chamber, knowing that together we can accomplish so much more than we can alone.”
Call (585) 265-3960 or visit websterchamber.com for information.