Dear Chamber Members,
We are living in unprecedented times and they are going to get worse, in the next couple of weeks, before they get better. We, as entrepreneurs and small business owners, will take the blunt of these hard times as orders get cancelled and supply chains dry up.
The good news is that we are a resilient group. We here along the Jersey Shore have gone through tough times before. Just 8 years ago we faced the enormous destruction brought on by Sandy and four years before that we experienced the collapse of the stock market and the recession. Make no mistake; we will conquer COVID-19 but we must do it together.
Remember that COVID-19 crises will not last forever. Within these crises may be opportunities for you and your business. Be on the lookout for ways that your business can pivot, form a strategic partnership or add new services.
The Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce has had one mission and that is to connect the local businesses, individuals and nonprofits together. We have encouraged doing business with each other and that encouragement has never been more important than right now. If at all possible, do business with a chamber member. Please find our full list of Chamber members here.
In the meantime, your Chamber will keep you up to date about local and state business and new strategies that may come up. Remember, WE ARE TR and we will win the battle, together.
Ralph E. Wolff, Chairman, Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce
We know this is a difficult time and we want you to know we are here for you! Below is the most up to date information from the GTRCC.
In keeping with the CDC recommendation of no more than 50 people, the GTRCC staff and Board of Directors have made the following decisions:
-We will be canceling/rescheduling events through April 3rd
-GTCC staff will be working remotely during that time
Events: game plan moving forward –
- Wine Not? –Thursday, March 19th rescheduled to Wednesday, August 12th. If you have already registered, your spot will automatically be reserved for the new date. However, if you are unable to attend on the new date, please email email@example.com and we will coordinate your full refund.
- Connections + Cocktails – Monday, March 23rd – event canceled
- Ocean County Nonprofit Symposium – Wednesday, April 1st rescheduled to date pending – we will be in touch with next steps
- Pine Belt Business After Hours – Thursday, April 2nd rescheduled to Thursday, September 10th. If you have already registered, your spot will automatically be reserved for the new date. However, if you are unable to attend on the new date, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will coordinate your full refund.
Supporting your community and businesses: as the community and government officials respond with precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many local businesses are fearful of the negative economic impact that comes with social distancing. While we are all in this together and recognize that public health is a top priority for all, our local small businesses, restaurants, retailers and organizations rely heavily on social togetherness and foot traffic to sustain operations and wages.
There is still an opportunity to be incredibly supportive to our community!
- Gift Card – purchase a gift card now and cash it in later! This helps small businesses keep money flowing through the next 1 -2 months and gives consumers a great reason to be local when it’s finally time to gather again.
- Shop online – many local businesses have e-commerce via websites that you can access at any time of day. Order from your favorite restaurants and retailers online – have food delivered to your home or order for pick-up.
- Shop over the phone – can’t find what you are looking for online? Give that retailer a call, we are sure they will be happy to process orders over the phone.
- Leave a review – can’t spend the money right now but still want to show the love? Leave a review online and make sure others know just how much our businesses mean to our community.
- Promote their social media – like, comment, and share posts from local small businesses. Help them increase their social media engagement so the next time they promote an event, new menu item or special sale, more people can see it!
- Subscribe – be the first to know about events, in-store specials and news from your favorite local businesses by subscribing to their e-newsletters.
- Nonprofits – please reach out to our local nonprofits and find out ways you can help!
Resources for you: we know that this is a very uncertain time for many of our members and their businesses in an effort to provide you with the most up to date information at hand, we have collected some resources that may be helpful to your business.
- SBA – U.S. Small Business Administration – The SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to support small businesses that have incurred substantial economic loss as a result of the outbreak. The Agency is working closely with Governors to make up to $2 million in targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans available to any small business enterprise that has been severely impacted by the situation. SBA’s full guidance for Small Businesses and Employers can be found here. For more information on the process of accessing Disaster Loans, see here. Additional fact sheets can be found here & here.
- NJBIA – New Jersey Business and Industry Association – NJBIA continues to maintain and update a Coronavirus resource page, at njbia.com/coronavirus. Additionally, NJBIA is working with our policymakers on legislation to assist businesses during this challenging time, and they are looking towards business owners for their input. They have launched a Coronavirus Pulse Poll for you to relay your challenges. It is the hope that your participation in the short questionnaire will help them help you get through this difficult time. Full press release here.
- NJBAC – New Jersey Business Action Center – The State of New Jersey has established a special website devoted to business concerns during the coronavirus emergency. The site cv.business.nj.gov, will be updated as new information becomes available. We encourage you to communicate this with the appropriate individuals within your organization. In addition, the New Jersey Business Action Center’s Helpline is now available from 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, seven days a week. Call 1-800-JERSEY-7 to address any concerns you or your employees have.
Virtual Networking: we want to stay connected to you! So, we are in the process of developing a virtual networking event schedule. Please keep an eye out for additional information in the upcoming weeks.
Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns!
Danielle Norcross – CEO, Greater Toms River Chamber of Commerce