By Jennifer Pauly
Our community’s new normal is drastically different than what it was one week ago. Businesses, organizations and residents have had to adapt to changes that seem to be happening by the hour. New ways of doing business has evolved with owners becoming innovative with what they have to offer. Some businesses have had to adjust their hours or close – hopefully temporarily. The workplace has changed, the community has changed, the home has changed. It is a change for everyone.
Information has been fluid, often changing faster than we have the ability to share it. The Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce is here for our members and the community. We have made sure our staff has followed the governor’s orders while working around the clock to bring important resources to those who need it.
Last week on March 9, our office started to really think about the next few months and if the coronavirus was going to have an impact on our events. As the week progressed, we started to postpone and cancel events we knew were going to take place in April ... then May ... and now possibly into June. Then this week happened and it was unlike anything we have ever experienced.
We have been in contact and have organized meetings with our elected leaders, fire and police using video and phone conferencing. These will become at least once a week communication, if not more. If any of our member businesses need a platform to conduct phone/video conferencing, we have the tools to be able to do that and ask that they contact us.
We are matching River Region gift certificate purchases up to $50. For a limited time, gift certificates can be purchased in any amount up to $50 (five-year expiration date), and the chamber will match that amount with a second gift certificate that has to be used by May 31, 2020. These certificates can be used at over 45 member businesses. This helps our membership as they receive the certificate and redeem it at our office to be reimbursed.
The chamber office currently has a small supply of donated nonperishable foods should any of our members or the community need food to get by. Some of our restaurant members have also offered to provide food at below cost or at no cost to those who are not able to work at this time and need assistance. We are all in this together.
Our website, www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com, has links dedicated to our community getting through the coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 info., business resources, important links, closings, open for business, and takeout/delivery links are updated every day with the latest local, county, state and federal information. Our goal is to help our businesses and community get through this and to be the trusted resource for their needs. The office is currently open during regular business hours by phone, email and appointment (limit one person per appointment). Suzanne and I are alternating work days in the office with the other working remotely.
Please feel free to call our office, 716-754-9500 (leave a message if we are unable to answer the phone), or email us: [email protected] / [email protected]. Visit our website at www.NiagaraRiverRegion.com.
We are here to help. Let’s all take care of each other.