“Area Chambers of Commerce Join Forces to Support Business Community”

(March 21, 2020) Utica, NY-The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley are coming together in a joint effort to support the business community.  As a collective group, these chambers are urging the business community to reach out to their local Chambers of Commerce for resource navigation and support during this time.  As Chambers of Commerce, their number one objective is to support and serve their members, and also the business community as a whole.  A strong business community means a strong overall community, so they are also urging consumers to consider supporting local businesses as much as possible.  Every little bit counts.  For example, you can buy a meal, purchase merchandise or buy gift cards for later use.  Some retail shops are also offering personal shopping and curbside pick-up, and lots of businesses have made their services accessible remotely.


The local chambers recognize our region’s business owners are doing everything they can to keep their doors open right now, which currently looks different for every business.  Many of the local chambers have provided pages on their websites, email communications, and posts on their social media linking to important resources.  Many of them are working hard to share their members’ news during this time whether it be updates to their hours, how to access them during this time, or promoting their services in general.  They are urging all local businesses, members or not, to turn to their local chamber to access this information and support.


“Since our local situation with COVID-19 has escalated, we have been working hard to pull together resources to help businesses navigate through this,” said Meghan Fraser McGrogan, Executive Director of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.  “We have created a landing page on our website focused on linking to updates from our state, regional and local government, the Small Business Association and The Business Council.  We’ve also created a Social Distancing Guide for our local member restaurants complete with phone numbers, ordering links, and links to their websites and Facebook Pages so you can easily support them by placing to-go orders.  We are now focusing on featuring our members in a special edition of our Leveling Up webcast where I will interview a different business owner or organization leader daily to let you know how you can support them.”


“We are working together to vigorously promote the importance of supporting our local and regional businesses for they are the foundation of our economic livelihoods,” said Bill Guglielmo, President of the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce.  “All benefits in a given community are derived from the profitable operations of business.  Businesses employ people who are customers in our retail and service markets.  Businesses are the major underwriters of the many events and activities presented by nonprofit organizations that add to the cultural and recreational attractiveness and diversity of our community.  We collectively urge you to support our area’s business community because they support you.  Just as our neighboring chambers are doing, the Rome Chamber will continue to provide timely information via social media to encourage commerce and respond to the concerns of our members. ”


“Our chamber members are resilient people and our local businesses know how to navigate through hard times,” said Michele Hummel, Executive Director of the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce. “During this unprecedented challenge related to COVID-19 please know your chambers are working proactively to support the business community. We will be sending regular updates as information becomes available. This not a time to panic but rather pull together as a community and support each other.”


If businesses have specific questions, concerns, or areas they would like to see the local chambers explore, whether you’re a member or non-member, please reach out directly.  The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce and the Chamber Alliance of the Mohawk Valley are committed to working together to continue to support the region’s business community during this national crisis.  Here are the local chambers and how you can reach them:


Boonville Area Chamber – Michelle Bartelotte –

Camden Area Chamber  – Michael Takacs –

Clinton Chamber – Jackie Walters –

Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber – Mark Kilmer –

Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce-Meghan Fraser McGrogan-

Herkimer County Chamber – Michele Hummel –

Kuyahoora Valley Chamber – Leslie Irwin –

Marcy Chamber – Lesley Grogan –

New Hartford Chamber  – Mark Turnbull –

Oneida Chamber (Greater Oneida) – Betsy Mitchell –

Otsego County Chamber – Barbara Ann Heegan –

Rome Area Chamber – Bill Guglielmo –

Trenton Area Chamber – Debby Leiker –



Chamber Alliance Affiliate Partners


Center for Leadership Excellence – Kristen Skobela,


Destination Marketing Corp. for Otsego County – Cassandra Harrington,


The Genesis Group – Ray Durso,


Hamilton Business Alliance – Debra Forstenzer,


Mohawk Valley Association of REALTORS – Ann Rushlo,


Mohawk Valley Business Women’s Network – Sandra Fentiman,


Mohawk Valley EDGE – Jennifer Waters,


Mohawk Valley SBDC – Roxanne Mutchler,


Oneida County Tourism – Kelly Blazosky,


Waterville Economic Development Corporation – Brian Bogan,


Workforce Development Board – Alice Savino,