What Chambers Are Doing Around the West

South County Chambers Provides Facility to Fill Gap as Temporary Warming Center

The South County Regional Center, a large event facility managed by South County (CA) will serve as an overnight warming center for homeless individuals until April 2023. The CEO and Board of Directors agreed to support the local 5Cities Homeless Coalition (5CHC) on this temporary solution while the 5CHC works to finish their warming center facility for the 2022–2023 winter season. The facility is an over 11,000-square-foot multipurpose building and will be activated when weather conditions include a 50% or greater chance of rain or temperatures dropping to 38 degrees or lower.

Kathy McCorry, CEO, explained the decision was made after input from the local business community, “By providing a safe place for those who need shelter during cold and wet weather, we not only support those vulnerable individuals, but we also take pressure off the business community. Often people will use doorways and overhangs for shelter, which is inadequate to meet their overnight needs.”

Want to know more about these efforts? Contact info@southcountychambers.com.

Billings Offers Holiday Shop Small Tour

The Billings (MT) Chamber provided an opportunity for community members to experience some incredible local businesses. Participants carpool to several different retail stores to hear the amazing success stories of starting and owning their small business while also engaging in some holiday shopping. The event includes giveaways, drinks, snacks and a private shopping experience showcasing the entrepreneurial spirit of the local small business community. The event is free to participants and a part of their larger “Keep the Cheer Here” campaign.

To learn more about the businesses that were highlighted, visit business.billingschamber.com/events/details/holiday-shop-small-tour-5102338.

Irvine Chamber Career Edge Cohort Completes Soft-Skills Training

The Greater Irvine (CA) Chamber brings together students from Orange County colleges and local high schools in its award-winning Career Edge program to offer soft-skills programs taught by subject matter experts. The program provides students with an advantage during their job search and helps them bring distinctive and marketable skills to the jobs they land and increase their success rate and on-the-job performance. The sessions include Successful Business Etiquette, Effective Business Communication, and Practical Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students also work on resume writing, public speaking and participate in mock interviews.

To learn more about the program, contact Pepper Russell at prussell@irvinechamber.com.

Tahoe Chamber Kicks Off Holiday Tree Lane to Support Local Nonprofits

The Tahoe (CA/NV) Chamber convenes local businesses and agencies to support nonprofits in the South Shore with their Holiday Tree Lane. Local businesses signed up to participate and purchased an artificial tree then chose a theme and decorated it. The businesses also chose which nonprofit the tree would support. Trees are then included in a raffle that runs from Black Friday to mid-December.

Community members can visit app.galabid.com/holidaytreelane/items to see photos of the trees, including information on where to view the tree in person and which organization the tree supports. Participants then purchase $5 raffle tickets online for the tree in which they are interested, and trees are awarded to the raffle winners on the final day. Trees are promoted by the chamber’s social media as well as the businesses themselves, bringing attention to the participating business as well as raising awareness and support for the nonprofit.

Learn more about the program at tahoechamber.org/holidaytreelane/.

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Information featured each month in Around the West is taken from chamber newsletters and websites 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!

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