As we all know, our entire country is on very high alert due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), now classified as a Global Pandemic. With a huge amount of information coming at us from every direction, it can be extremely confusing and overwhelming to wrap our heads around what we should be doing during this crisis. The Chamber is relying on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and state and local officials as our sources of information to guide us as we make decisions on how we continue to provide our services and how to help you do the same. Here are the steps we are currently taking and some suggestions for you:
In accordance with practices suggested by the CDC, from now until April 1st, the Chamber will be suspending any on-site meetings or activities and will be closed to outside visitors. We plan to continue our internal operations as usual, and you will not see an interruption in our services as members.
- The March Business After Hours event which was to be hosted by our friends at the Charles T. Sitrin Health Care Center on March 24th has been cancelled.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce website has compiled excellent resources to help businesses as they work to navigate operations during this crisis. We strongly encourage you to visit their site for a comprehensive overview of what you can be doing right now. Some suggestions include:
- Communicate with your employees: Communicate what to do if they are sick or need to care for a sick loved-one. Review your policies and adjust if needed.
- Determine whether flex working/working from home is an option: Can you implement flexible working or teleworking as an option if you need to keep your employees home but need to continue operating?
- If you must stay open: If you are continuing to operate your business, communicate with your customers the steps you are taking during this time to minimize interruptions as well as maintain the safety and well-being of both your customers and your employees. Post these steps on social media, send them to your customers via email or post them on location.
- Be prepared: Review your current business continuity plan to ensure it meets your needs.
- We encourage you to remain calm and take all necessary steps to maintain good health. Click here for very helpful information on how to stay safe.
- The Chamber supports the mass community mitigation efforts currently underway, including social distancing, as a vital step in slowing down and controlling the spread of illness. This reduces the strain on our medical facilities so that they can keep up with the growing demand for services. This is the main reason for events being cancelled or postponed. We know that in some cases this is very disappointing, but until this illness is contained, we must remain patient and compliant.
By using an overabundance of caution, strictly following best hygiene practices, abiding by the rules and guidelines set forth by local agencies, and above all else, staying home when you are ill, you help yourself, as well as the rest of us, to stay healthy.
The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor this situation and will work to keep you informed. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can provide further resources for you during this time.