Chambers Lead Businesses Through COVID-19 Crisis

Todays News

Screenshot of Manatee Chamber YouTube: Manatee Chamber CEO Jacki Dezelski directs members to online resources.

The fact many businesses have their offices closed doesn't mean companies can’t still connect, even amid the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The Sarasota Chamber of Commerce has kept its lines of communication and many services running remotely.

“There isn’t a business leader in our entire community that isn't rustling and having to make some really tough decisions right now,” said Heather Kasten, Sarasota Chamber President and CEO, in a video message. “I do want to share with you, though, that here at the Chamber, we are rolling out exciting things.”

That includes online resources for navigating the CARES Act, a federal rescue package aimed at ensuring U.S. businesses survive the coronavirus crisis. The Chamber directory also includes information on existing Small Business Administation Loans available.

Similarly, the Manatee Chamber of Commerce has posted information to help companies access resources and to “help make sense of the alphabet soup of assistance programs that thankfully have come online.” The chamber has also set up a “Manatee Strong” Facebook group simply to share inspirational stories of people keeping life going in the region.

“You’ll find hundreds of stories being shared every day in which our community is coming together with an eye to the future,” said Manatee Chamber President and CEO Jacki Dezelski in a YouTube video. “You also have the opportunity there to help is learn new ways to support local businesses.”

The Lakewood Ranch Business Alliance has worked to keep up commercial communication in the region through electronic communications and virtual meetings.

Lisa Kirkland, Alliance chair for 2020, said nine committees for the group have continued to meet using digital communications. The “Lunch With The Ranchers” program this week will be held online.

“We all experiencing significant changes in the way we live, work and play,” Kirkland said in a video message to members. “This quickly evolving, unprecedented change has brought disruptions to our lives and uncertainty about the future as we face unknowns like how and when a new balance between public heath and economic health will be achieved amidst all this change.”

Screenshot of Manatee Chamber YouTube: Manatee Chamber CEO Jacki Dezelski directs members to online resources.

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