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Chamber ramps up businesses support

By Staff | Mar 25, 2020

The North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce is trying to make things a little easier for the business community to navigate the changing climate caused by the new coroavirus.

The business organization is providing various information its Facebook page, including how the public can provide support.

The Chamber page includes tips on how to tell if your central air unit is about to call it quits, shares information on businesses that are open, encourages patrons to write positive reviews for local restaurants and offers information on how small businesses can get bridge loans to tide them over until the pandemic subsides.

“The page has some great information, including one which showed which restaurant members were still open for takeout,” said Wendy Murray, new executive director of the Chamber. “It was shared more than 100 times.”

There was also information sent by Chamber members regarding which businesses were still open, many of which are using outside-the-box thinking to serve customers, such as video lessons and Skyped tours of homes.

The Chamber also is e-mailing information out about the Small Business Administration regarding bridge loans, and doing what it can to support its members under its “Chamber 2.0” concept.

The Chamber has also held meetings with local entities such as the Economic Development Office in Lee County regarding its new rapid response task force, SBA loans and unemployment and reemployment on how it will impact the community. Murray and Chamber President John Gardner represented North Fort Myers.

The Chamber has already cancelled its monthly events, such as the Business Leaders Luncheon, Business After Hours and Networking Breakfast indefinitely, and it has also closed the welcome center at the Shell Factory.

“The majority of our volunteers are over 80 years old, and we felt for their safety that needed to close it,” Murray said. “We cancelled the luncheon because of the caution of holding events with 10 or more people.”

It is unknown when things will return to normal for the Chamber, the same as it is for everyone else.

“We need to let time get under us here until we get the all clear to start things back up. The world is on hold right now,” Murray said.

For more information, visit the North Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Facebook page or www.nfmchamber.org.