By VALERIE WINTERFIELD, Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce
The Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce has stood with our local business community for over 50 years. The emergence of COVID-19 has created a lot of changes to our country. We have witnessed declarations of state and national emergencies, travel restrictions, the cancellation of events and local cases are on the rise. We are in a time of uncertainty and change, but together we can come out stronger.
We know these are challenging times for many businesses and families. Your Oak Harbor Chamber staff and board of directors are committed to being your partner through and after the pandemic.
We want you to know that the Chamber is working for our members behalf during this time in several ways:
We have increased our social media posts to encourage local business and to keep our members information visible. The information is ever-changing, and we are keeping our social media page as updated as possible.
We send bi-weekly emails with detailed information for our members including grants, CDC recommendations, Small Business Economic Information, membership benefits and more.
We are involved in local and state webinars to obtain the latest information and resources to disburse to our members.
We have helped businesses in our community apply for grants and complete follow-up paperwork.
We have continued to offer our quarterly Business Over Breakfast education series via webinar on topics relevant to our member businesses.
With the cancellation of our events, we created the Fall Festivities, where we held socially distanced activities for the community during the month of October.
We gave out over $1,000 in local Chamber gift certificates to help stimulate the local economy.
We are involved in conference calls and emails with the SBA, Northwest Ohio Chamber of Commerce Association, Chamber of Commerce Executives of Ohio and more to stay up to date on how we can help our members.
We partnered with the Village of Oak Harbor and Oak Harbor Public Library to provide a grant application hub for the State of Ohio Small Business grants.
We have promoted several webinars from our partners to help our members navigate the challenges during this difficult time.
We have found creative ways to hold Santa visits for 2020 by utilizing our local bank and credit union drive throughs.
Aside from all the wonderful events that our chamber works hard to bring the community each year, we also offer superior business benefits to our members. The biggest savings for our members come from the BWC Group Rating Program and our Health Insurance Discount Programs. We also offer the use of our bulk mail permit to members, discounts on many business services, Fed-Ex shipping discounts, special pricing on copy and print, business referrals for members, free seminars, ribbon cuttings and more. For a detailed list or more information about any of our benefits and services, contact us at 419-898-0479 or visit oakharborohio.net.
Now, more than ever, we need to unite as a community and support one another to keep our local economy strong. We look forward to promoting our businesses and our community in 2021 and beyond and wish to thank all our members and sponsors for their continuing support.
From the staff and board of directors of the Oak Harbor Area Chamber of Commerce: Happy Holidays and best wishes for a prosperous New Year!