A message from our Chamber CEO and President,
Dear Chamber Members,
These days we're all experiencing an onslaught of news and change surrounding the COVID-19 / Coronavirus as positive cases have now been confirmed in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. I'd like to take this moment to reassure you that your Chamber is concerned with your safety and is taking steps to address this concern while allowing business to continue forth.
Your Chamber remains open for business. We have many great regional assets and strengths that ensure our continued success while balancing the safety and health of our members and employees. We are monitoring daily developments related to COVID-19 and should there be any changes to our operating status, scheduled events or future events, we will update members via email and post public updates via our social media channels.
Below is a summary of our current, proactive approach:
While there are many activities that can be conducted remotely, we know from our members that business grows when people meet face-to-face. Continuing meetings and events that are so vital to our members’ growth is top of our minds. It has spurred your Chamber to implement steps that will help us continue to provide a safe and clean environment for our events:
- The Chamber will be providing additional cleaning for all meeting spaces both before and after our meetings.
- We are shifting our food options to single serving portions and eliminating common serving utensils.
- We are calling on members to join us in greeting one another with a hand-over-heart gesture, wave, head nod, or whatever makes you feel most comfortable while avoiding handshakes. In this challenging time, let’s find creative and fun ways to engage one another in person.
What members should do when engaging at events
As the Chamber takes these steps, we ask members to be mindful of the preventative hygiene practices that have been shared with us by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments. These include:
- Wash your hands often and carefully with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday twice). If soap and water are not available, use a 60% alcohol-based hand-sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home when you are sick. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Wash your hands after.
- Avoid shaking hands.
What resources are available for members
Starting this week, the Chamber will launch the following 4-part, free webinar series focused on business continuity planning. Our goal is to provide our members and the business community with the most up to date best practices and insights on managing your business through unexpected events:
Employer Exposures and Protecting Your Business
In the first webinar in our Business Continuity Series, we partner with USI to focus on protecting your organization from the liability aspects of moving your workforce to remote locations.
Mar 13th, 2PM | Register
Disaster Preparedness: How to Prepare for an Emergency Remote Workforce
In this second webinar in our Business Continuity Series, we partner with Ntiva to focus on the technology aspects of moving your workforce to remote locations.
Mar 17th, 2PM | Register
How HR and Business Leaders Can Prepare for the Coronavirus
In the third webinar in our Business Continuity Series, we partner with Helios HR to discuss how HR and business leaders can prepare for the Coronavirus.
Mar 19th, 2PM | Register
Growing Through Challenges When Remote
In the fourth webinar in our Business Continuity Series, we partner with The KeepPressingOn Project to discuss ways teams can effectively work together--and thrive--while working remotely.
March 26, 2020 2PM | Register
While our mission is to support our members’ ability to grow, your safety and comfort is always our first priority. Working together, we can all comfortably continue to grow our businesses and the Greater Washington regional economy.
I look forward to hearing from you about how the Chamber can support you during this time.
Julie Coons, President & CEO
Northern Virginia Chamber of Commerce