Thursday, 14 May 2020 13:50
By Todd Shimkus, President of the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce | Families Today
Photo provided. Photo provided.

Like most in the world today, I’m not sure the Saratoga County Chamber was ready for COVID 19. BUT in the face of this adversity, we’ve adapted. 

Our professional staff is working remotely from our homes in Clifton Park, Schuylerville, Wilton, and Saratoga Springs. We hold regular staff meetings via Zoom and we stay in touch constantly during the day via email, calls and text messages.

You can still call us at 518-584-3255. You can still email us. We’re still accessible and ready to help.

What we believe has made the Chamber so vital in this crisis is how we’ve connected our members with what’s really going on and what’s really important. We’ve been relentless in our communications sharing information, ideas, important news updates, and amazing stories of kindness.

Every day we’re sending out an email to just about everyone in our database. Since March 13, these emails have been opened more than 150,000 times.    

The work we’ve done has been helped immensely by the collaborations we started with SEDC, Discover Saratoga, the City Center, the DBA, and Prosperity Partnership on March 13. 

We’ve also joined forces with FLAG Saratoga as they lead an effort to purchase more than 2,000 meals from local restaurants for delivery to health care workers and first responders. 

We joined with six breweries who call themselves as they raise money to support local hospitality workers. 

We are working with Death Wish Coffee as they sell t-shirts to support local businesses closed during this pandemic and their employees who are now unemployed.

We’ve been visible and vocal advocates. At first, we helped businesses get classified as essential so they could stay open. Later in this crisis, we helped local businesses who had important questions get answers about their PPP loans. 

We’re regularly in touch with elected and appointed leaders at the Federal, State, County and Local level. We are constantly sharing with them what they can do to help our economy to recover.

The response to our work has been unbelievable. We’ve lost track of how many people have thanked us for listening to them, advising them, helping them, advocating for them and giving them hope. 

I can safely say the Chamber is doing well. We’re making a difference. We’re helping to lead the economic recovery in Saratoga County. In fact, we helped write the plan.

So, if today your business or nonprofit organization is in a position to support us by joining or renewing your membership in full or in part, we’d be so appreciative. And if you are not, we understand and we’ll work with you as time goes on knowing that by helping you today that you’ll be able to help us tomorrow.

We know the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce helped make Saratoga Springs and Saratoga County one of the greatest places in the world to live, work and play. We’re going to keep adapting, communicating, and leading our community through the recovery. 

So how is the Chamber? We’re here to help. We’re ready to make a difference. We always will be.

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