The Visalia Chamber of Commerce took direct action at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. After successfully fighting for Tulare County to be included in the SBA Disaster Assistance funding list, chamber staff set out a plan to further support members and the local business community.
Despite the new norm of working from home, the chamber continued to work vigorously to be a catalyst of change, convener of leaders and champion of local businesses. We reached out and connected to all members personally, nearly 700 in total, reiterating benefits, resources and showmanship of support. We continued to connect with local, state and federal legislators regarding business needs while also acting as a resource center for local businesses — fielding hundreds of calls, emails and messages.
To further assist members and local businesses, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce curated business resources and shared local business updates through chamber platforms.
For members, we developed a COVID-19 Business Resource Toolkit that provided resources to help prevent disruption, support operations and guidelines for new working conditions.
The chamber hosted multiple webinars to connect businesses with industry experts on critical topics.
We shared more than 1,300 social media posts on Instagram and Facebook Stories to help keep Visalia up to date to support those local businesses.
We reached 10,000 people through weekly Coffee With the CEO Facebook live events. These events shared timely business updates and allowed the community to come together to share insights, good news and support for one another.
The chamber hosted Lunch Bunch Drive-Thru events to support local businesses, A & W and Cellar Door, while practicing social distancing. Upcoming drive-thru and in-person events are planned.
During uncertain times, the Visalia Chamber of Commerce continued to be a champion for members and local businesses. We expanded our Loyal to Local campaign by partnering with chamber member Smith Promotions to produce Loyal to Local T-shirts. Proceeds will benefit local charities that are working to feed Visalia and utilizing local businesses to do so: Bethlehem Center, Family Services of Tulare County — Karen’s House, FoodLink of Tulare County, Visalia Emergency Aid and Visalia Rescue Mission. In addition, proceeds will assist the chamber to continue to fight for local businesses affected by stay-at-home closures, such as developing resources for those affected and providing much-needed small business technical support. To order, please visit visaliachamber.org/loyal-to-local