300 East Park Avenue, a weekly email sharing thoughts and considerations from the Greater Tallahassee Chamber of Commerce. Each Friday morning you’ll find a new note in your inbox that will feature reflections on the work being done at the Chamber to grow our community. Look for short messages about important initiatives, pressing matters and the regularly scheduled programs of our organization along with a few quick links for further reading on relevant topics. 300 East Park Avenue is our physical address and the place where business leaders come to meet. This new communication will be a way to open our doors to members each Friday in a digital format.

A Spirit of Cooperation

If approved next Tuesday, the Leon CARES Small Business Assistance program will provide $1,500 to $6,000 grants to approximately 3,100 qualifying small businesses, based on the business’ number of employees, to cover business expenses directly related to COVID-19 including employee wages, vendor bills, rent, utilities, promotion, and employee/ customer safety costs.

An Opportunity to Make a Difference

First, Tallahassee’s needs are substantial – with nearly 20% of our children living below the poverty line there is a growing crisis affecting our most vulnerable residents. This leads to a significant portion of our community facing difficult living conditions and challenged career prospects. We can and must do better.

Where We Go From Here

Unfortunately, our intention to bring people back together for in-person gatherings continues to face delays. With that on our mind each day, we’ve had to further assess how we can best drive value to our members.

“A Small Act of Citizenry”

Here in Tallahassee, as our community is working to put our economy back on track, it is critical that we all do our part to ensure our future is fully funded. In the coming years, the results of this Census will reshape everything from local government elections, state offices, and congressional districts.

Information vs. Insights

Chambers of Commerce are not gatekeepers and we don’t aim to be information peddlers. Instead, our work is intended to create an organization where insights are both gathered and shared with our members every day.

“A Pivotal Moment in the Life of Our Community, State, and Country”

This moment in time in Tallahassee, Florida, and America represents a unique tipping point opportunity. We are called upon now to summon the better angels in all of us as part of a genuine commitment to ferret out institutional racism everywhere it exists – and to move our community, state, and country to the higher ground that truly creates a lasting foundation of equality for all.

“Summer Business Series”

With our member’s needs in mind, we created a new program series for the month of June which will feature webinars with both local members and out-of-market experts. The Summer Business Series will kick-off next week with a presentation from Tom Derzypolski, President of BowStern.

“Voicing Your Opinion Remotely”

ere at the Chamber, our advocacy efforts on behalf of the business community have not stopped either. Recognizing that our members are all working hard to sustain their businesses during these difficult times, we feel it is important to share a meaningful update on some major votes that are coming before the City and County Commissions next week.

“Our Best & Brightest”

The Best & Brightest Awards are more than just a trophy. Thanks to the support of presenting sponsor Envision Credit Union and companies like Sachs Media Group and the Tallahassee Democrat, nearly $800,000 in scholarships have been awarded to local students since the program began.

Adapting As We Go

Even though the world has hit the pause button on our normal way of life, we still have a strong desire to connect with each other. In this time, a new existence for business is emerging.

“The Chamber of the Future”

Our audiences have grown, and our members have responded with a demand for more. When paired with our live events, these offerings have helped to redefine the value of a Chamber membership.

“Learning Through This Crisis”

The moment we find ourselves in today is one for which companies and employees are expanding their understanding of how to achieve success in a world where COVID-19 is reshaping our lives by the minute.

“An Interdependent Relationship”

The work we do in this space happens through our Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) and the dedicated volunteers who give up many hours each month to keep these conversations going. During this pandemic, when so many businesses are suffering, the interdependent nature of our relationship with local government has never been clearer.

“We Need Leaders”

Leadership Tallahassee is much more than just a program – it is a system for building lifelong relationships which in turn benefits the greater good of our community. Those who are chosen to participate become part of a culture that shapes real outcomes in Tallahassee.

“Jobs Now”

Leaders from our Chamber of Commerce have been working around the clock to devise solutions to both help businesses hold on to their employees and find people who can fill roles that are needed at this time.

“Stronger Together”

It has long been said that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Right now, as many companies work remotely and businesses are both closed and restricted from their normal activities, people are longing to get back to normal.

“Our Daily Commitment to You”

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.

Business Strong

Recognizing the severity of this virus, our leadership and staff are certainly concerned about its impacts on the Chamber and all of our member businesses. We are committed to bringing you the best information possible when it becomes available.

“The Catalyst for Business and Community Growth”

Each month, members of our Grow Business Committee meet to discuss important factors that contribute to the success of our local economy. Issues like workforce development, talent retention, infrastructure and targeted industries are just a few of the topics on the agenda each time.

“It’s a Process”

In our recent member advocacy survey, there was a high level of support for investing dedicated tax dollars in children’s services. As the next step in that process, we are offering members an additional opportunity to learn about the proposed CSC and ask questions of those who are advocating for its passage later this year.