What Chambers Are Doing Around the West

Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber Helps Accelerate Businesses

The Tacoma-Pierce County (WA) Chamber has partnered with Pierce County Economic Development to launch the Pierce County Business Accelerator to serve entrepreneurs and business owners throughout Pierce County with a focus on BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) veteran, and women-owned businesses to help foster innovation and create wealth-building opportunities.

Applicants are evaluated to be placed in a cohort where they will receive access to training, coaching, technical assistance, networking support and upon completion will receive access to potential funding options, matching grant resources up to $10,000, commercial rent stipend for one year up to $500/month and coaching/mentorship.

The program is funded through an allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act and the chamber is the administrator of the program.

For more details, visit https://www.pcba.biz/.

Billings Launches Be Kind Campaign

The Billings (MT) Chamber has joined with Visit Billings to launch a Be Kind Campaign to remind people that kindness matters and to support employees at Billings area businesses who may be working under challenging circumstances, including staff shortages or longer shifts, to help keep businesses open.

The campaign provides a downloadable Be Kind Toolkit, which includes posters, flyers and social media posts stressing the importance of kindness and offering information on various local and national mental health resources.

Learn more and view the toolkit at https://www.visitbillings.com/covid-19.

Irwindale Encourages Support of Local Non-Profits

In the spirit of giving and to spread holiday cheer while giving back to the non-profit community, the Irwindale (CA) Chamber has added a Support Local Non-Profits page to their website. The page provides the opportunity for community members to get to know local non-profits with descriptions, logos and links to their webpages and features their wish lists for the year ranging from paper products, toner and toiletries, to $5 gift cards and new socks. The page is regularly updated as more non-profits provide their list of needs.

View the page at https://www.irwindalechamber.org/support-local-non-profits.

Hawaii Young Professionals Hold First Thinkubator Summit

The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii held its first-ever Young Professionals (YP) High School Mentoring Thinkubator Summit. The virtual event showcased solutions to industry challenges from high school students mentored by Chamber YPs.

Examples of the questions posed to students include: “How can we increase health literacy relating to breast cancer in ESL [English as a second language] communities?” and “What can businesses do to help people get back into the labor market?”

Students from four local high schools met with their mentors twice a month to think through and determine these industry challenges and solutions. At the event, chamber members heard about the many topics and then posed questions and provided feedback to the students.

For additional information, please contact tfetui@cochawaii.org.

Tahoe Chamber Partners to Help Food and Beverage Workers

The Tahoe (CA) Chamber was pleased to manage fund distribution in the amount of $70,960 raised by donors who contributed to the Tahoe Together Caldor Fire relief fund. The fundraiser was conceived by two local breweries as a way to help local brewery and restaurant workers impacted when the Caldor Fire triggered the evacuation of nearly all the South Shore and businesses had to close, losing revenue from the normally busy Labor Day holiday weekend.

The Tahoe Chamber joined as a partner in the relief effort, along with the Tahoe Prosperity Center. Several local breweries joined together to create and brew Tahoe Together IPA, raising $15,000 for the cause.

A total of 16 restaurants and breweries registered their impacted employees to participate. They are now distributing the funds received to the hundreds of eligible food and beverage workers.

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Information featured each month in Around the West is taken from websites and chamber newsletters that W.A.C.E. receives from its members. We try to share best practices, innovative ideas and programs from chambers working hard to be Catalysts, Conveners and Champions and make a difference in their community.

Make sure to subscribe W.A.C.E. to your mailing list, if you haven’t done so already, and you may be featured in a future Insider!

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

Send mailings to: W.A.C.E., P.O. Box 1736, Sacramento, CA 95812-1736.