It is imperative that the Southern Chester County Chamber’s work at the federal, state and local levels continues. We are making a difference. In this regard SCCCC is participating in the initiatives outlined below, with the most important listed first since it is County-driven. The PA Chamber’s initiative provides valuable data, information and resources that you will want to keep on your radar; and the US Chamber’s initiative offers practical information for reopening – very important.
We will continue to work hard on your behalf to see that Chester County reopens with the tools and support you need. As our region makes its way through this crisis, please reach out to me with questions, concerns, or feedback. We are here for you.
The Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce, along with the eight other Chester County-based Chambers of Commerce, other county-wide organizations, and businesses that represent geographical and size diversity, are participating on a COVID-19 Business Task Forceorganized by the Chester County Commissioners.
What does this mean? It is our approach to the restoration and continued growth of our economy. The mission of Chester County’s COVID-19 Business Task Force is three-fold.
First, the Business Task Force will provide input into business re-opening mitigation strategies developed by the Commonwealth, ensuring that those strategies are realistic, relevant, and will be adhered to by Chester County businesses. The second part of the COVID-19 Business Task Force mission is to assist in distributing information and updates regarding re-opening and the sector-specific mitigation strategies that will come with re-opening. Finally, the Task Force will participate in, and guide, the development of Chester County’s economic recovery plan.
Prior to this pandemic, Chester County had a diverse and robust economy with the lowest unemployment rate in Pennsylvania. It is time to revisit our economic development strategy and rework it, given the new environment we are in.
Chester County’s COVID-19 Business Task Force consists of two groups – a core team and an advisory committee. The core team is comprised of organizations that serve the entire county as well as representatives from each of the county’s chambers of commerce. Core team representatives include Chester County’s Agricultural Development Council, CareerLink Chester County, Association of Township Officials, Conference & Visitors’ Bureau, Department of Community Development, Economic Development Council, Planning Commission, Municipal Managers Consortium, and Chester County Intermediate Unit.
The advisory committee consists of organizations that represent and interact with the many industries in Chester County, of varying sizes from across the whole of the county. Industries represented include agricultural, bio/pharma, breweries and distilleries, childcare, conservation/environment/open space, construction, finance, gig economy workers, hospitals, human services, legal, lodging, long-term care, manufacturing, municipalities, non-profits, real estate, retail, restaurants and food service, schools and universities, technology, tourism and transportation.
Over the last several weeks, the SCCCC has engaged in extensive conversations with the PA Chamber, local business leaders and other local chambers from across the state to determine employers’ major concerns and needs as the state looks to slowly re-open economies across the Commonwealth. Feedback from those conversations played a critical role in the development of the website.
As part of its efforts to serve as a resource to our local business community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Southern Chester County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the launch of the ‘Bringing PA Back’website. This is one part of a new initiative by the PA Chamber of Business & Industry designed to help businesses safely re-open their facilities and jumpstart the economy following the pandemic. The comprehensive website features critical information for employers, including:
Guidance on workplace readiness – such as cleaning and safety standards;
Industry-specific guidance; and
Policy recommendations that will help to revive Pennsylvania’s economy
The website also includes a map of the Commonwealth – identifying which phase of the re-opening process each county is currently in – along with providing an overview of the Wolf administration’s guidance for each phase. The PA Chamber has also developed policy recommendations that are focused on the state’s economic recovery – all of which are highlighted on the website. The website will be regularly updated to keep employers apprised of new government guidance and industry best practices.
SCCCC is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. As such, we have access to a myriad of resources, data, and information to support our members. One of the most recent initiatives is “Ready to Reopen” – a Playbook for your Small Business. Ready to Reopen walks you through the steps your business will need to take to reopen as restrictions are lifted across the country. While your exact reopening strategy will depend on your home state and business type, you can use this playbook as a starting point to help you plan and prepare for that day. COVID-19 has impacted every business differently. Some were able to shift to a remote work model, while others adjusted operations or closed their doors entirely. Factors that have impacted businesses' timelines and their abilities to resume "normal" operations include: · The status of any existing stay-at-home orders in their state(s) of operation. · The severity and volume of COVID-19 cases within their locale. · Whether the business has a physical location. · The ability to enforce proper social distancing (at least six feet between individuals) within the business location. · The level of contact with customers and other employees (e.g., beauty salons and gyms with direct physical contact vs. retail stores and restaurants with indirect contact). One thing is true across the board: Every business will face tremendous challenges as our nation begins the path to recovery, while still facing the public health threat of the virus. When brick-and-mortar businesses are able to reopen their doors, consumers may be wary about being in an enclosed space with other individuals, regardless of the health and safety protocols in place. Even digital businesses that have remained fully operational may find it difficult to boost sales with so many customers facing lost or limited income. The businesses that will survive and thrive are the ones that can be flexible and adaptable to consumers' new and evolving needs. You'll need to plan carefully and understand not only what may need to change about your business, but what new growth opportunities may exist for you in a post-pandemic world.
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