Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, it became evident that the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce was needed now more than ever.
After Gov. Tom Wolf first placed restrictions on non-essential Pennsylvania businesses in the middle of March, the WyCCC staff and Board of Directors saw a need to communicate accurate information about loan programs, operating in compliance with state orders, and more.
“We wanted to make the information easy to understand and readily available,” said WyCCC President Gina Suydam. “We knew the information was changing fast and wanted to make sure that we were putting it out as quickly as possible.”
The WyCCC developed a webinar series, “Restart. Rebound. Rebuild.,” which runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9:15 a.m.
The series follows different stages of businesses being temporarily closed during the pandemic.
After reopening, businesses need to bounce back from their time off, figure out how to rebuild, and “really determine what their business plan and model are going to be going forward based on the new normal for all of us,” Suydam said.
After four weeks in Restart, the WyCCC has entered four weeks of Rebound. Recordings of previous webinars, as well as a schedule of future webinars, can be found online at wyccc.com.
The concept of the series is fluid, so Suydam welcomes topic suggestions that aren’t on the schedule from business owners.
“We’ve covered topics from government funding to marketing to insurance to healthcare to disinfecting your business,” Suydam said.
The Chamber has also switched up the series to fit timely topics such as Wyoming County moving into the yellow phase of Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan to reopen Pennsylvania on May 22.
On Monday morning’s webinar, business owners discussed what going yellow means for retail and professional services.
The news excited Suydam and business owners across the county, but they also understand that this doesn’t constitute a total reopening.
“We also realize there’s still a lot of restrictions within the yellow phase,” she said. “This isn’t a green light to proceed and open everything right back up. There are risks out there and we need to be cautious and take the proper precautions to reduce those risks.”
After Rebound finishes in the beginning of June, Suydam looks forward to the Rebuild phase and seeing which topics business owners want to hear about as they plan for life after the pandemic.
“I think it’s already
keeping our businesses up to date with the most relevant information,” she said. “There’s so much information to filter through and what we’ve done at the Chamber is try to filter through that information and give it to our businesses in a concise way, and also in a conversational way.”