We are All in this Together, Six Feet Apart

Dear Members,

You all continue to impress me with your humanity, engagement and perseverance during a very difficult time. Our Chamber team has tried to reach all of you via email and phone. Those we’ve been able to talk with are appreciative of the personal contact and the chance to visit with a friendly voice. Same with us. The stay-at-home order is isolating, and we miss being with you in person.

The abruptness of the economic shutdown of business by government has left everyone scrambling to cope. In the ensuing chaos, your humanity has come through with many of you expressing how heart-sick you are to lay off employees.

Then there’s the uncertainty of how you’ll rebuild what took years to create.

In the face of the short-term disruption and future uncertainty, your engagement has been great to see. There were over 900 people on the conference call last week hosted by the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley chambers of commerce to brief you on the CARES Act. You continue to be engaged with the other conference calls and on social media.

For our part, the Chamber has focused our work in four broad areas:

  • First, for those of you still open in some manner, we are pushing customers your way with our ‘Open for Business’ page. Our goal here is to keep some income flowing into restaurants and other businesses so you can continue to pay your bills and employ people
  • Second, communicating relevant developments about government orders and COVID-19-related news affecting business.
  • Third, advocating for public policy relief by identifying ways local government can better support area companies.
  • And fourth, we are providing you with information about assistance and resources to help keep you liquid. The government response to this health crisis has put a big burden on business. In response, there have been several business relief programs created. The Chamber is acting as a conduit to businesses about how to access these programs.

More help is on the way. We are organizing a regional business call with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and area lenders to talk about how to access the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan program under the CARES Act. Also, we will soon be announcing a regional one-stop website for businesses in Northern Colorado with information about resources you can access.

This is a tough time. Together – six feet apart – we’ll get through this.

Proud of you. Hang in there.

David May
President & CEO
Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce