Happy Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day

By Amanda Ellis

Oct. 21 is National Support Your Local Chamber of Commerce Day. To celebrate, read about some of what we've been up to: 

What are some initiatives or work that the Chamber has been doing recently or wants to highlight? 

We're always working to move our community forward in terms of jobs, talent and growing businesses. Despite the pandemic, our economic development team saw a 35% increase in projects this year, including job announcements you probably read about like those at Southern Champion Tray, McKee Foods, Viget and Nippon Paint

A couple specific big initiatives we're focused on right now include: 

  • our Spirit of Innovation event, featuring local innovative companies and an exciting speaker - Arlan Hamilton, who launched a venture capital firm supporting women, POC and LBGT founders while she was homeless. 
  • Enticing remote workers who can now live anywhere to come to our region. This week we were named the best WFH city in the country. Your Chamber's marketing team is always working behind the scene to garner placements like this that show off our community's strengths. Last year, we placed 521 million national media impressions on our economic and talent development and fastest internet.
  • Continuing to support entrepreneurship. Our INCubator in the Hamilton County Business Development Center has continued to implement new programming and has several new businesses as people have decided to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams during the pandemic. 

What has the Chamber been doing in Chattanooga to support local businesses in light of the pandemic?

So much. About 90% of our members are small businesses, so it was important for us to provide as much support as possible during a challenging year. Here's what that looked like: 

  • Created online resource pages for employers and employees impacted by COVID-19 
  • 100,000+ PPE produced per day through Chamber-facilitated partnerships 
  • Provided members with daily policy email updates (beginning in March) 
  • Shifted networking and major events to all virtual, including a highly interactive two-day virtual EXPO 
  • Collected and shared important data through three economic surveys 
  • Called more than 2,000 businesses during the pandemic to listen to their needs and provide information 
  • Provided fast, trusted, local information via 30+ videos with information on pay protection plans, funds sourcing, new regulation and more
  • Launched #ChattanoogaToGo campaign promoting local businesses; achieved 600,000+ touchpoints
  • Told the stories of businesses rising to new challenges 

In addition to becoming a member, how can businesses or individuals support the Chamber at this time?

Stay involved! The more you're involved, the more we all benefit. Attend our virtual events- we're still hosting a variety of networking events online, programs for young professionals and our Council events focused on smaller areas of our community. Our Councils are always looking for helping hands on their projects (like our MidTown Council's recent work on the Brainerd Community Food Pantry). Whether or not you're a member, sign up for headlines about economic development and our businesses at ChattanoogaTrend.com. Invest in our Chattanooga Climbs plan for helping our community continue to grow in jobs and talent. There's no way we could do the work we do without the support of the businesses and people we work with. 

Are you celebrating the day in any specific way?

We'll post on our social media alongside our fellow chambers across the country using resources from ACCE (Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives), our national chamber association. Otherwise, our team will spend the day doing what we love - working on behalf of our businesses, our people and our community.