Wilson Chamber members can post online updates

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In addition to the emailed updates to our members (which we ask you to forward to nonmembers), these updates are also being sent to The Wilson Times for a regular, broadcast distribution.

Our members have been provided an “enhanced” member profile at wilsonncchamber.com.  This means that our members can post news, updates and information about their business at any time.  Not only will that information be available to the public on our homepage, but it will also sync with our Facebook and Twitter feeds, updating the public in real time any pertinent information about your business. 

Chamber member Servpro has developed a coronavirus “cleanup protocol” for businesses to use to disinfect workplaces. Visit the shortened link https://bit.ly/2QGy71k for more information, or call Servpro at 252-291-4422.

As of this update, the state of North Carolina is not on mandatory lockdown or shelter-in-place orders.  However, we are monitoring as other states — including New York, Washington, California and Ohio — are implementing these measures. 

If such an order is required in North Carolina, certain essential businesses will be “exempt” based on criteria determined by public health officials: grocery stores, pharmacies, social service organizations, etc.  To streamline which businesses are declared exempt, and you believe your business may qualify, email beoc@ncdps.gov and include the following information:

1. Business name.

2. Point of contact including name, email, phone number and address.

3. Nature of your business and why it’s are critical to continue operations.

4. Business website.

Congress has not yet agreed to terms of a stimulus bill.  However, a relief package, when approved, is expected to include specific relief for small businesses to prevent layoffs, as well as direct assistance to the state to buttress unemployment insurance.  Negotiations on a stimulus package resume today.  As soon as I have details, I will pass along.

Finally, during this period of uncertainty, I’m grateful to those of you who have answered our calls the past few days, or offered to help our business community in some meaningful way.  People are counting on the chamber to be a representative voice of the Wilson business community, and will continue to do so after this crisis subsides.

However, it’s important to remember that our local businesses ARE the Chamber; we only survive and thrive proportional to our constituent businesses, and their ability to voluntarily invest in our mission.  That’s a more difficult ask now than it has ever been. 

While we continue to ask our members to renew their investments, I recognize how challenging it will be for many who are rightfully and primarily concerned with protecting their employees and making only the most essential expenses.  Effective immediately, we are suspending the dropping any members for nonpayment of dues. 

If you receive an invoice from the chamber and are able to pay, please do so.  Otherwise, we hope to count on your support once we emerge from this crisis, while praying for your health, safety and security.

Meanwhile, if you can, take out, pick up or purchase delivery from those businesses that mean the most to you.

Ryan W. Simons is president of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce. This COVID-19 community update is adapted from the chamber’s digital newsletter.