What a week. It’s hard to remember another time that can compare to this one. With our country gripped by the incredible challenges associated with combating the COVID-19 virus, our local businesses, neighbors and community leaders are struggling as we all try to find the bottom of this crisis. Everyday feels more difficult than the last and we all have a shared hope that these new norms will only be required in the short term. Even though we now have cases of the virus here in our community, there are still bright spots to keep in mind. Just as we suspected, our neighbors, family, friends and colleagues are stepping up in this occasion to provide relief, comfort and support for each other as we all work through this.
Despite the difficult nature of the mounting interruptions to both life and business, we all have an opportunity to provide daily inspiration and encouragement to those around us. Earlier this week, Ron Sachs – CEO and founder of Sachs Media Group, spoke to this on a special edition of our Tallahassee Business Podcast. Ron’s comments were spot on and helped to shine some light on how we all might stay positive and productive through an unprecedented situation.
Those lessons apply to our staff too. Just as many of our member businesses are now working remotely, the Chamber team is conducting our business via various virtual meeting tools. The cornerstone of our remote work plan includes a daily Zoom video conference in which all of our team members join in to discuss how we can continue to drive value to our members. Even though we are still in the first week of this new practice, it has already served as a comforting ritual for all of our team members.
During our morning video calls, we begin each discussion with a personal check in led by our President and CEO Sue Dick. Her leadership has been steady and strong this past week which serves as a great example for both our team and our members. The first question Sue asks each morning is aimed at knowing how her team is doing. Everyone is experiencing this moment through both a personal and professional lens and as our team shares updates, it’s nice to be reminded of how much we all care for each other.
Beyond our team check ins, we are also using these virtual meetings to map out how we share insight and information with our business members each day. Even though our normal Chamber activities are on pause, we have established a new commitment to using our communications channels as a means for getting our members the information they need to reduce the impacts from this dramatic slowdown in our national economic activity.
Here is what you should expect from us. You’ll continue to see our regularly scheduled emails, social posts, engaging content and other familiar actions while we also add daily updates on resources that matter to businesses. When we learn of changes or new ways to help – you’ll hear about it from us as quickly as we can get it out to you. We have valuable technology available to us that keeps our team in contact with one another throughout the day and even though we are separated physically, our productivity and drive to help members remains high.
One thing that remains clear in our morning video conferences is that your Chamber team has a sense of urgency and a strong motivation to keep our members informed and empowered during these difficult days. Nothing about the coming weeks will be easy, but we are here for you. The Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce has been a force for local business for nearly a century, and nothing about these challenges will change that. Thanks for all you do and now more than ever, we appreciate your business and your membership.
Vice President, Advocacy & Public Policy