• We're Here for Business: The Santa Maria Valley Chamber's Principle-Driven Response to COVID-19

    We're Here for Business: The Santa Maria Valley Chamber's Principle-Driven Response to COVID-19

    As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, it brings new and disruptive challenges for our community and businesses. Your Chamber is committed to being a catalyst for business growth, convener of leaders and influencers, and champion for a stronger Santa Maria Valley. The way we serve you will be different for the duration of the crisis, but our core values and commitments will not change.

    Guiding Principles
    Moving forward, it’s important you know the values we use as guides to working for our members and the broader community. These include the following:

    We are a proven Hub of Information within the business community.
    We serve as a trusted Convener and Connector for the business realm and the community at large.
    We strive to foster a Culture of Collaboration in our community.
    We operate with a Results-Driven Focus.
    We are a proud Defender of Business Values.

    Here’s some of the ways that we are striving to put these principles into play on behalf of the Santa Maria Valley.

    A Hub of Information
    We are focused on curating information that is accurate, timely, and trustworthy – and sharing that information as quickly and broadly as we can.

    The Chamber has access to a wide range of resources and information through our partnerships and coalitions. Leveraging those resources, we are making sure we’re educated about impacts, decisions, and resources as they come on line.

    Our COVID-19 Resource Page (santamaria.com/coronavirus-resources) is updated frequently with resources and news to help businesses. Whether you’re looking for tips on working remotely, information about SBA loans or HR-related guidance, it can be found here. Businesses should to start their search for answers here.

    Connector and Convener / Culture of Collaboration
    We have cleared our calendar through the end of May and will continue to evaluate future events as we understand the realities each month.

    While we’re not meeting in person, we are still working to connect leaders and influencers. The Chamber is serving as the convener for a weekly SM Key Leaders call to ensure various community sectors are regularly providing updates, sharing resources, correcting mis-information and aligning on messages to avoid confusion and additional stress in the community.

    Moving forward, we will find ways to convene and connect businesses to share opportunities and create new ways of doing business together.

    Results-Driven Focus
    Our advocacy efforts are focused on responding to specific issues and challenges that impact businesses related to the COVID-19.

    For instance, we worked with several partners to ensure our community was listed on the SBA Disaster Impacted Counties list, opening access to various relief programs to local businesses. We are part of a coalition advocating for businesses to be able to access loss of business claims due to virus-related emergencies. Locally, we worked with the City to relax sign regulations to allow businesses to use temporary signs and banners to communicate changes to their customers without needing a permit. We will help the City identify other process changes that will allow projects and business to continue.

    Defender of Business
    We’re working hard to learn how the pandemic is specifically affecting our business, and how we can help. One key tool is our Business Impact Survey, accessible through our website in English (www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19SMBusiness) and in Spanish (www.surveymonkey.com/r/COVID19EncuestaDeNegocios). If your business has a specific need, share it with us via the survey or by contacting the Chamber. We will work with you to find tools and resources to help.

    We’re sharing business stories and updates through our #SMVOpenForBusiness Campaign. We encourage you to participate so we can share content from your business, too!

    We’ll continue sharing member-submitted news through our website (santamaria.com) and social media platforms. If you have something you want the community to know, email taz@santamaria.com.

    As the Champion for local business, the Chamber will continue working hard on your behalf, and supporting the Santa Maria Valley any way we can. If we can better serve you or your business/organization during these challenging times, please reach out and let us know!