Dear Leaders,

Information is key….and the overload is daunting!

There are many issues that we face every day as we maneuver our way through this health/economic crisis. I don’t know about you, but my email inbox is seeing a 10x increase in messages, most of which have a “COVID-19 Important Information” subject line.

So, how are we supposed to know which information is truly crucial? And, how do we assess the accuracy of this information? We have challenged our communications folks to take on that critical function for us, and then post current information on the COVID-19 Resource Page on the our website.

They have risen to the occasion. We also want you to be able to access webinars and live video seminars and conferences in real-time, so we have used our social media channels to notify our members of such opportunities.

The most commonly asked questions revolve around how small businesses can access the variety of support mechanisms that have resulted from federal and state legislative and administrative action. The US Chamber has been a fountain of analysis for business. On March 30, they published a guide for small businesses access to federal resources (PDF) that is the best we have seen to date. I am sure more information will come our way, so stay tuned to all of our communication channels.

We are working with several other organizations to seek out information on specific components of the legislation as well. On the non-profit front, we are working with a team of other chamber execs around the country involved with Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to sort through the language.

Chambers and economic development organizations may be both business organizations, 501c6 organizations as designated by the IRS, and have foundations, 501c3 organizations as designated by the IRS. The rules in the legislation are different for (c)6 organizations than for (c)3 organizations, but somewhat silent on organizations that have a combination of the two types under the Chamber umbrella… we do. We will sort through all of that and provide important guidance to chambers across the state.

Finally, I would be remiss if it didn’t give huge kudos to our team at the chamber. On March 13, the chamber went remote and the team didn’t miss a beat. We immediately converted events to online events. We immediately moved large events like the Omaha Business Hall of Fame Gala to the fall and our golf outing to the end of July. We have created new external meet ups with our members and staff. And, we have virtually overnight become a virtual chamber with real people backing up the technology.

That combination is vital because we are using technology as a tool to meet our members’ needs one-on-one. The tech is not a replacement of people helping people. The tech is enabling us to continue to help our members in this time of social distancing in a safe and responsible manner. So, if you want to talk to me or any of our talented and committed staff, call us, Zoom us, GoTo Meeting us, Team us, WebX us, email us or text us.

We remain here for you.  So, as I said last week, use us.

Be safe.


COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Find guidance and resources to help you navigate.