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The Network Effect

NOTE: In lieu of The BEAM this week, we bring you a message from Zach on the COVID-19 situation and helpful resources for your business.

Dear Chamber members and partners:

Over the past several days, we have heard from many of you about your plans, questions and concerns relating to the global spread of COVID-19. We are working closely with local and state officials and monitoring updates from federal authorities for guidance on best practices regarding events, meetings, travel and other issues that impact our organization, our economy and your business.

In the near term, where possible, we are working on strategies to fulfill the Chamber's mission and lead in protecting the health of our community. Regarding our upcoming calendar of events, our "Framework for Inclusive Workplaces" event on April 6 and Chamber 101 on April 7 will either be rescheduled or moved to a virtual setting. We will communicate with attendees as soon as these new plans are finalized. Based on the information we have today, our annual IceBreaker on April 30 will continue as planned. As we receive new guidance that may require additional updates or changes, we will be in communication with you.

In the meantime, it is important that we continue to support local businesses to strengthen our economy and be there for our friends and neighbors. Here are just a few ways you can do so:

Tip well. If you are at a restaurant or another service-based establishment, tip more if you are able to do so. Service workers make much of their living on tips, and your generosity can help make up for fewer people going out to eat.

Keep those tickets. If you bought tickets for a local charitable or arts event that was later canceled, consider not asking for a refund, or tell the organization to keep the money you paid for your ticket as a donation.

Buy gift cards. Purchasing gift cards and gift certificates for yourself and others is a great way to support local businesses now while frequenting them at a later date.

Seek virtual options. You can browse and order items from local businesses, including many retailers, online as an alternative to in-person shopping.

Shop for friends, family and neighbors. When shopping, consider asking those who are vulnerable or less mobile if you can purchase anything for them.

Get delivery or takeout. Call restaurants directly or use an aggregated order and delivery service like Madison's own EatStreet.

We also strongly encourage you to consult these helpful, regularly updated resources as you implement your own infectious disease emergency response (IDER) plans:

--CDC: Coronavirus Main Page
--CDC: Situation Summary
--CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
--CDC: Preventing Spread in Communities
--CDC: Print Resources

We continue to work closely with our local leaders. Our ability to share information and best practices with both you, our members, and public health officials will help ensure our community's response plan is successful. To that end, if you received our online survey yesterday, please take the time to complete it before 5 p.m. on Monday, March 16 so we can effectively advocate on your behalf regarding any resources needed for your business.

We are committed to supporting your business and working collaboratively to ensure a robust and effective community response.

With high regard,

Zach Brandon
President, Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce

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