OKC VeloCity | Chamber offers resources for members and businesses during COVID-19 outbreak

Chamber offers resources for members and businesses during COVID-19 outbreak

By Justin Tinder / Member News / March 26, 2020

As residents and businesses throughout Greater Oklahoma City grapple with the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber remains committed to providing leadership and resources for its members and businesses throughout the region.

The Chamber has centralized all the resources that are available to share with members at www.okcchamber.com/covid19. The webpage features the latest audio of the Chamber’s Tele-Town Hall meetings, updates from health experts and government entities, resources for employees looking for work and more.

Many of the Chamber’s divisions have shifted their priorities to meet the needs of members during this unprecedented time.

MEMBERSHIP PROVIDES UNIQUE APPROACH TO PANDEMIC

The membership team of the Chamber is the organization’s first resource for discovering the needs of its members according to Sunny Cearley, Chamber vice president of membership.

“The membership team has been making direct contact with between 150 and 250 members and former members each day,” Cearley said. “For us, these companies are our all-day, every-day customers and partners. Identifying a need and connecting people with resources, while maintaining a sense of community when we can’t be together in person is our primary goal.

ECONOMIC EVALUATION DETERMINES COURSE OF ACTION

The Chamber’s economic development team has already completed an evaluation to determine what new roles, responsibilities and duties are needed most by its members and the Oklahoma City business community, according to Jeff Seymour, executive vice-president of economic development.

“It’s important for people to know that we are not doing just triage for the community,” said Seymour. “We are already thinking beyond to what changes will be made and what opportunities this will create so we are on the front burner and ready when those conversations take place.”

 

Seymour said that his team is taking a divide-and-conquer approach.

We believe we are uniquely equipped for the many pieces of this work which has resulted of the COVID-19 virus. As a regional economic development program, we want to make sure we fully utilize our infrastructure to help support our economy,” Seymour said. “Our research team has transitioned to understanding how we can best respond in the short term, understanding what other communities are doing as well.”

“We’re doing outreach to our larger businesses, retailers and entrepreneurs to understand what needs they are facing so we can aggregate those needs as we work to facilitate responses,” Seymour said. “Additionally, in partnership with our banks and other resource providers, we’re constantly monitoring and providing feedback on state and federal business resources and communicating that information out to our business and regional community partners. Our goal, right now, is to make sure we are getting as many resource tools in front of as many people as possible to help everyone make informed decisions.”

GOVERNMENT RELATIONS REMAINS AMONG TOP PRIORITIES

The government relations division has ramped up its efforts to represent the legislative interests of business during the pandemic.

“Currently, we are working with Oklahoma’s federal, state and local government officials to ensure relief legislation/emergency orders address the needs of the OKC business community, including specific needs of Chamber members,” said Mark VanLandingham, senior vice president of government relations and policy.

Due to the Governor's Executive Order to close non-essential businesses, the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber and the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau have moved to a fully remote workforce, but the organizations continue their work for a better Oklahoma City every day. Please email info@okcchamber.com or leave a message 405-297-8900 if you need to reach the Chamber and a member of its staff will return your message.

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