Pandemic Help for Businesses: Coordinating Information, Reopening Guides, Relief Efforts

What opportunities have you found to partner with your city, county or local organizations to better serve your business community during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Nathan Ahle, IOM, ACE
Fresno (CA) Chamber

In Fresno we’ve tried to partner with like-minded groups as much as possible to support our business community. We’ve been working with the Fresno County Economic Development Corporation, City of Fresno and Fresno County to create “Revive Fresno County,” a website and mapping tool that combines the most up-to-date health and safety guidelines for dozens of industries with a custom mapping tool that shows the public the location of businesses that have self-attested to meet the reopening guidelines.

The goal is to provide the latest in public health information while creating customer confidence that Fresno’s businesses are doing their part to keep their employees and the public safe.

Kami Welch
Arvada (CO) Chamber

Collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic has been critical in defining priorities and coordinating efforts that have improved economic vitality for Arvada. As news of mandated closures started, we coordinated a daily call with a cross-section of government and community organizations focused on supporting businesses called the Arvada Resiliency Taskforce (ART).

Over the last five months we have developed resources related to improving consumer confidence, education, feedback collection and business advocacy. Our chamber played a key role in the convening and ongoing activation of partners leading to the right resources at the right time for our community.

Derek Miller
Salt Lake (UT) Chamber

The Salt Lake Chamber created the statewide campaign “Stay Safe to Stay Open” to support the health and well-being of our citizens and the economy. The campaign is based on businesses taking a pledge that they will follow public health guidance and keep their employees and establishment safe so they remain open. Nearly 1,500 businesses across the state have signed on to the pledge with partners, including cities, local chambers, industries, the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and the State Department of Health.

Our media strategy includes the NBC affiliate KSL radio’s Speaking on Business, which airs daily across the state. The campaign will also be featured with billboards, TV, Deseret Digital and print media partners. To learn more, visit

Tom Pierson, ACE
Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber

The Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber created the Rapid Response South Sound Coalition, convening over 70 business and elected leaders from Pierce County to work on business issues and legislation related to the impacts of COVID-19.

In an effort to further unite the business community during this challenging time, the coalition developed the website as a primary resource of information for the business community to seek out answers, resources and individual assistance from area experts. The coalition meets weekly and will continue to be a valuable resource after the pandemic.

Jim Dantona
San Luis Obispo (CA) Chamber

One of the most direct and impactful ways we’ve been able to serve our San Luis Obispo business community during this time has been by the creation of two separate relief funds. Through a unique partnership, government, nonprofit and the business community have come together to give local businesses grants of $5,000 to help fill immediate financial gaps.

In total, $335,000 was provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES )Act and private donors for direct funding to small businesses disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These novel collaborations across sectors and industry have allowed us to help keep our business communities going.

Eddie McBride
Lubbock (TX) Chamber

As we all know how difficult the coronavirus pandemic has been, our partnerships have been critical. We partnered with the City of Lubbock and the Lubbock Economic Recovery Taskforce, to create the Lubbock Safe certification establishing guidelines for operating as well as reopening safely based on statewide and local restrictions.

With over 1,000 businesses currently certified, we helped play an integral role with implementing and promoting these crucial details for all businesses in our community. Additionally, we subsequently published a 76-page guide for safely reopening businesses that significantly expanded all Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) instructions and served as an additional tremendous resource.