Chamber Chat 4-30-20

Chamber Next Steps

Four Initiatives Moving Forward

 1) Collecting and Sharing Your Voice

The Chamber knows you value the safety of your employees and customers. We know you can take the precautions the state asks for to open. We know we can help you communicate those plans to the public. We know you need hope. You need a plan.

On Tuesday, April 28, the Chamber Board voted to

  1. speak as the business voice of the region, asking our businesses to share their thoughts through a survey and
  2. supported a plan called “Back to Business” by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC). Don’t let the name fool you. It’s not just about opening businesses. It weights the type of business, the infection rate of where it is located, the hospital capabilities in that community and determines if businesses can open. It provides a predictable, clear and flexible method to opening. 

NEXT STEPS

  1. We encourage you to review WMC’s plan, watch the webinar, and write to our electeds if you too support the approach. HERE >>
  2. We will be sending a survey to gather data on the extension of the Safer at Home order. We will gather your voice.

TEAM LEAD: Vicki Markussen

 2) The Chamber’s Role Financially

The financial hurt you are feeling is spread across so many industries. Literally everyone except, what we’ve heard, grocery stores are impacted by COVID-19. With limited financial resources available and federal funds delayed, it is impossible to assess who will emerge and where the need is at this time. 

The Chamber Board wants to position help to businesses as they open. It is hard to ask those hurting to help others who are hurting. By uniting, however, and asking the public to help with the additional costs through added sanitation, we believe we can:

1) run a public campaign to bulk purchase sanitation items – cloth masks, hand sanitizer, plexiglass barriers, thermal thermometers, etc. 

2) donate these to businesses as they prepare to reopen 

NEXT STEPS

  1. Solicit bulk purchasing prices from suppliers. 
  2. Survey members for quantity needed
  3. Fundraise publicly
  4. Have businesses apply for supplies donation based on the date they are preparing to open

TEAM LEAD: Angela Seeger

 3) Mother’s Day

 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation approved our plan. Mother’s Day is an opportunity to focus pent-up consumer desire to help local businesses with buying local for Mother’s Day.

The sale of gift baskets and gift cards available for curb-side pickup can give businesses some funds surrounding a holiday. 

Our large business board of directors is prepared to encourage their employees to use the program. It feeds into the longer-term strategy of the Board to create a local gift-basket buying program for year-end.

NEXT STEPS

  1. Friday, May 1, develop a platform to collect gift basket descriptions, photos & information
  2. Develop the website to promote the baskets and collect buyers to local businesses for pickup
  3. Promote the platform when enough baskets are submitted to launch
  4. Encourage businesses to buy – staff appreciation, mothers day, etc. 
  5. Encourage businesses to promote the site
  6. Encourage the public to buy

TEAM LEAD: Angela Seeger, Clarke Molberg, Vicki Markussen

Chamber Foundation: Scholarships to Graduating Seniors

 For sixty years, businesses have hosted the top 5% of graduating high school students at 11 area high schools for the Honor Student Banquet. Proceeds went to the Foundation. We could not have another event canceled for our seniors.

WXOW stepped forward to televise the event.

Anticipating fewer businesses able to sponsor students and wanting to create new revenue for scholarships for the students, we are supplementing the event with a public fundraising drive.

Businesses will receive public recognition for sponsoring a student on the 15-minute show. The public will help us provide the strongest scholarships for the students. Students will equally receive proceeds from the event as a scholarship.

NEXT STEPS

The event website launched today and ready for your business or personal contribution here: https://www.lacrossechamber.com/honor-student-banquet/ 

 NOTE: the Chamber Foundation is our educational arm of the Chamber providing scholarships for business education, Leadercast Women, Women’s Circles, and supports the use of our Education Center at the Chamber for Chamber, business, and public use.

TEAM LEAD: Maggie Christian 

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