This letter from Tom Baldrige, President & CEO, was initially published on March 12, 2020, as the first in a series of COVID-19 letters that provided resources, updates, and guidance during the pandemic.
Like all of you, the Chamber is sensitive to how the Coronavirus pandemic impacts both business and community. Without doubt, we are in uncharted waters.
Yet, the best way to navigate those waters is through communication and facts, not fear and panic. As such, we plan to do our part to keep an open line of communication to you about the adjustments we are making AND commit to keeping you informed on the latest business-based impacts that could prove helpful to your business and our community.
First, the Chamber.
*We have made the decision to postpone next week’s “Wake Up to the Issues” with Congressman Smucker (March 18, likely rescheduled for August) and our March Mixer at Decades (March 18, now rescheduled for May 13). Stay tuned for further information.
*Given the uncertain time-frame of concern, we are exploring options for all future events including postponements, on-line opportunities or cancellations. We are very proud of the quality of content in our 2020 programming line-up and hope to do everything we can to deliver it to you one way or another. And, to be clear, we fully anticipate proceeding with our May 21 Annual Dinner and continue to sell tickets (by then I am hopeful we will all have an extra reason to celebrate!).
*For as long as the Coronavirus concerns last, all our Tuesday Weekly Digest and Friday Impact Update emails will have the latest news and business-based resources and tips included in them. If you have employees you want to ensure receive these communications, contact Tony Gorick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, Your Business.
*We have created a landing page at www.lancasterchamber.com/coronavirus that we are continually adding resources and best practices to as part of our commitment to be your partner in managing this challenge. On the landing page, we are also inviting you to send us your best practices so we can post them on our website as a valuable resource to others.
*We are planning an “Ask the Attorney” webinar next Wednesday, March 18 from 9 – 10:00 a.m., wherein three local attorneys will share some of the workplace legal issues surrounding the virus and take your questions. Register for the webinar here. There will be no charge for the program.
Third, the Community.
We fully recognize that this unfolding situation has everyone anxious. Yet, again, I ask that you be guided by facts and do your part to promote calm and, quite frankly, commerce.
We are all in this together and that fact alone is what gives me confidence in what I believe is Lancaster County’s unique ability to handle the circumstances.
Start with you. Use common sense when dealing with crowds, wash your hands and get some sleep. Stay healthy.
Once you’re taking care of yourself, take a moment to think of other businesses that need your ongoing support. We simply cannot let fear get in the way of commerce. If ever there was a time for the business community to think about the community’s business, now is that time! Maybe you don’t want to go out to dinner, but how about grabbing some take-out from that same small business that needs your support? Before you cut back on anyone’s hours, take a moment to think about a project you’ve been meaning to get at for years and get at it with that employee. Maybe instead of hosting that staff party, you have the caterer make to-go lunches/dinners for your employees to enjoy at home? If you’re more inclined to watch a movie at home, how about swinging by Penn Cinema for that popcorn you love?
In other words, please be safe; but please don’t shut down. You and our entire community will be the better for it.
We will get through this together and we will return to normal soon. In the meantime, let’s take care of ourselves and let’s help each other, just as Lancaster Countians always do!
-Tom Baldrige, Lancaster Chamber President & CEO