Despite public health decrees to hunker down at home, Nick Kaspar knew now was not the time for people to stop meeting and networking.
The president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Central Chamber of Commerce has continued the organization’s meetings by taking them online twice a week as a way for members to stay connected and keep morale up during the ongoing pandemic.
In particular, Kaspar discovered that businesses that have been deemed non-essential are still actively working for leads for new clients even with shelter in place.
“So this is something put in place to provide a benefit to businesses deemed non-essential,” he said. “We know from the feedback we’ve been hearing that having these meetings are very beneficial for them.”
The chamber went from one virtual meeting to two per week due to increased demand. The meetings provide a platform for business owners to engage with clients and other business owners during the pandemic.
The chamber has added a list of Silicon Valley businesses and restaurants that are open during shelter in place in hopes that the community will support them. It also put membership dues on hold in light of the hard economic times.
“Membership dues are not going to make or break a business, but suspending it and giving two months free for members is taking a bill off the business desk,” Kaspar said. “That is the one thing we can control right now, is supporting our businesses, and this is one small way to do it.”
Similar groups such as the Silicon Valley Organization (SVO) have also been continuing to host regular events online. Come Thursday, the SVO will deliver a virtual update about resources for businesses to weather the pandemic.
It has also created a landing page with webinars and other information for businesses looking for guidance during the COVID-19-related slowdown.