For over 400 years, Chambers of Commerce around the world have been champions of free enterprise, job creation and community response. In unsteady economic times throughout history, chambers have organised the troops, raised funds for war efforts, coordinated disaster response, been the voice of progress during civil unrest, lobbied for economic relief measures and have served so many other local and regional business purposes. COVID-19 is no different and, during this national healthcare crisis, the collective chamber community across the world is leading the charge in driving plans for business preparedness during the pandemic and the economic recovery and growth that must follow. We recognise that almost every industry has been hit hard by this economic downturn and we are working around the clock to support them and others.
We thought it appropriate to share some of the ways in which the Cambridge Chamber is working with the business community in planning and preparing for economic recovery:
The Chamber is a resource for fact-based data, information and education on COVID-19 and business sustainability through this pandemic. From utilizing information on the www.covid19.govt.nz and encouraging them to understand and avail the government relief packages available. We will update where we deem relevant. We are mindful however of the saturation of information and will only push out if deemed useful and necessary at this stage.
Encourage corporate generosity. We are seeing great examples of community kindness and will ensure we connect businesses where we see an opportunity or are asked to engage. We anticipate a greater empathy from Waipa District Council around rates, Government around taxes, Banks around repayments and the list goes on …
We are already in conversation with the Property owners as they look to support where able from a tenancy perspective. Whilst too early to make comment, there are a number of conversations live.
Advocate The Cambridge Chamber is working with Te Waka and a number of other agencies to ensure collaboration and communication around Economic relief in the weeks to follow. It is heartening to see the common good of businesses at the fore of these conversations. Your needs and future is why we exist!
Lead by example.. The Cambridge Chamber has implemented a remote working strategy for its employees and is fully operational.
We will be getting creative with digital technology when implementing our “social distancing” plans for networking functions, day-to-day operations and meetings. We will find ways to incorporate additional opportunities for more regular business interaction through virtual business when the time is right.
Our work here and now is around supporting, connecting, directing and ensuring we collaborate with the broader networks to get resources and relief as best we can. Our phones have been busy – if you need anything, please just pick up the phone.
The Chamber is working with key partners to develop an online facility for what we are terming “Freerangers”, Cambridge folk that have lost employment as a direct result of COVID19. The hope is that if we have created a local pool of resources then they will be very accessible when Levels reduce and employment returns.
As we emerge from this pandemic, it goes without saying that there will be lasting impact to our economy. So, we must plan today for a robust economic recovery. It is during this time where we can make the biggest difference and live up to our historical reputation for being nucleic to business sustainability and resiliency.
Connecting our members, hosting networking events, convening local response, promoting products, people and our communities – these are all ways in which we can help support a strong economic recovery. Lobbying our local and central governments for innovative relief efforts to waive fees, delay penalties, removing barriers and regulations will all help business get back in the game.
Stay home, stay well and we will all get through this together.