Chamber Looks Ahead to 2021

Chamber Looks Ahead to 2021

A Message from Chamber Board Chair Bob Caldwell, Hallmark Homecare

Bob Caldwell

It’s a longstanding tradition for the Chamber Board Chair to share some thoughts at the start of the new year, reflecting on the accomplishments of the preceding months.  Trying to create a “Year in Review” for 2020 is, to say the least, daunting.  I don’t need to tell you that this year has been filled with stress, uncertainty, and devastating hardship for many of our members. Without downplaying the harsh realities, allow me to highlight a few silver linings that helped sustain our organization in 2020 and give me optimism about the outlook ahead.

When we held our last in-person Board meeting on March 12, we speculated that we would need to make some changes in light of the emerging COVID pandemic.  Days later, many of us were scrambling to prepare for a state-required shutdown of non-essential businesses.  In those early days, the learning curve was steep.  I was proud of the way the Chamber stepped up to provide timely information through a number of platforms: interactive discussions with government leaders, expanded social media, and digital communications including a new e-Newsletter.  Most effective of all were the personal phone calls to address specific questions and provide helpful referrals.  Chamber staff and member businesses truly banded together to support each other throughout these challenging months.

That spirit of adaptation and connection will serve us well in 2021.  With the promising news about vaccines, we can begin to make tentative plans to restore many of the Chamber’s most popular programs.  If all goes well, we will be able to hold our Golf Outing and Auction & Taste fundraisers later in the year, and we are exploring the possibility of an in-person Annual Meeting.  Of course, our members’ safety will be the priority in any plans.  Any gatherings will follow recommended best practices (including size limitations, outdoor events, and face mask requirements) as the rules evolve.  Even if our events look somewhat different, we can look forward to gradually regaining the in-person experiences that we long for.

In the meantime, I invite you all to stay engaged and involved with the Chamber.  There are a number of changes taking place in the local community, particularly in leadership positions — be sure to join us for the State of the Village Address to learn more.  The Chamber will continue to be an important resource for business information and advocacy.  I’m confident that our members will come out of 2020 with strong bonds, new skills, and a fresh appreciation of the pleasures of “normal” life.  Happy Holidays, and I look forward to seeing you!