What Chambers Are Doing Around the West

This month we are highlighting our 2020 Outstanding Chamber Program Award recipients who were honored at our Virtual Conference last month.

Outstanding Achievement

Arvada Resiliency Task Force

At the start of the pandemic, the Arvada (CO) Chamber convened organizations from across their community to form the Arvada Resiliency Task Force. This collaboration worked to understand the impacts of COVID-19 and respond quickly with programs, resources and policy shifts, working urgently to provide all business in Arvada with the necessary breadth of resources to survive and thrive in 2020. Through these efforts they were able to secure $700,000 in grants and sponsorships.

For more details, visit www.arvadachamber.org.

Community Resilience Campaign

The Greater Irvine (CA) Chamber developed their Community Resilience Campaign to help the Irvine business community cope with the sudden economic impact caused by recent shutdowns. This campaign focused on helping businesses navigate and access recovery resources, providing reassurance to business leaders and residents, recognizing companies, organizations and individuals helping weather the crisis, and keeping the community actively engaged with the chamber.

Full details can be found at www.greaterirvinechamber.com.

Washington D.C. Virtual Fly In

Annually the Vegas (NV) Chamber convenes a group of Nevada business advocates and community leaders in Washington to advocate for policies and bolster economic development. This year the event was replicated virtually, providing attendees with the same experience while remaining socially distant. The event exceeded expectations with a large number of elected officials and community leaders participating.

Read a detailed article about the event in the chamber’s Business Voice Newsletter.

Honorable Mention

Smart Design, Safer Places

To address an increase in public safety concerns in their community, the Billings (MT) Chamber created their Smart Design, Safer Places program to empower their business community by identifying opportunities for cost-effective safety upgrades to commercial properties and spaces. This program helps businesses improve both real and perceived safety, not only for their business, but also the community as a whole.

For more details, visit www.billingschamber.com.

Variance Protection Program

To help businesses stay open as much as possible, the Grand Junction Area (CO) Chamber partnered with the local newspaper and county health department to create their Variance Protection Program. This is a rating system to showcase businesses that are implementing and enforcing COVID-19 guidelines in the hopes of keeping the variances ahead of the rest of the state.

These variances have demonstrated a focused effort to open safely and keep case counts low, which has allowed Mesa County businesses to operate at higher capacities and with looser restrictions than almost 90% of the rest of Colorado.

During the recent rise in cases, the Governor of Colorado allowed any businesses with a 5-star rating from this program to remain at their current level of operation while the rest of the state rolled back to more restrictive guidelines.

Learn more here.

Sustainable Candidate Promotion

The Long Beach Area (CA) Chamber sought to find an environmentally friendly solution for campaign signs, which end up scattered all over a community after an election. City sidewalks were power washed with a stencil of the campaign sign using only water, leaving the sign visible to pedestrians.

Once the election concluded, the sidewalk was completely power washed again, leaving no trace of the stencil, allowing important candidate promotion while serving the community by cleaning public areas.

Contact Christine Bos for details.

Save Small Business Coalition

The Greater San Fernando Valley (CA) Chamber organized 160 chambers and business organizations representing 28 states to form the Save Small Business Coalition. The coalition is committed to the survival of a vibrant business community in the face of severe economic hardships.

The coalition partnered with Howard Schultz’s Emes Project, the U.S. Chamber and other associations nationwide to help introduce America’s Recovery Fund to Congress.

See who was involved and learn more about the coalition’s efforts at savesmallbusinesscoalition.org.

Rapid Mural Program

In March 2020, businesses began boarding up their storefronts. The Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber responded with its Rapid Mural Program, which created a roster of local artists who could create beautiful murals over the blank plywood. These efforts not only serve as a deterrent to unwanted graffiti but also provide support to the affected businesses, create a revenue stream for local artists and offer hope to community members. As a result of the program, more than 21 murals have been installed throughout the community.

View photos of the murals and learn more at www.tacomachamber.org.

Welcome Home Neighbor

As a community dependent on tourism, the Vail Valley (CO) Partnership knew it needed a thoughtful strategy to quickly bring much-needed revenue into the community during the pandemic. The partnership created the Welcome Home Campaign Toolkit, a collection of graphics and messages that invite their second-home owners to move to Eagle County at a time when other communities were defensive and unwelcoming.

This toolkit, combined with an ambassador network of more than 200 organizations, allowed the partnership to connect with second-home owners and locals and lead the community toward economic recovery.

Learn more about the program at www.vailvalleypartnership.com/welcome-home.

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Send e-newsletters to: jennifer.johnson@calchamber.com.

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