Chamber President Kristin Craig, along with West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center Regional Director Courtney Chipol, hosted a listening session and conversation with local businesses this week. Read more about what they learned and what needs to still be done for local business.
This week, Courtney Chipol, Director of the West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center and I sat down with eight small business owners to discuss their specific concerns associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. Many of these meetings were with local restaurants and included a lot of very difficult questions and not a lot of easy answers.
What we found in these conversations was a willingness to think creatively, take the challenges head-on and an overall resilient attitude. Courtney did a brilliant job of brainstorming ways for businesses to adapt in this ever-changing environment and almost every person we spoke with embraced her suggestions. They thanked us for the work being done on their behalf and appreciated our willingness to listen and engage. We encouraged them to persevere and be resourceful through all the uncertainty.
Some of the common themes from our conversations included: ways to track losses directly associated with the outbreak, how to make tough decisions regarding employees, managing financial obligations, including mortgage payments and business loans, implementing creative marketing and communication strategies to connect with customers and what actions the state and federal government is taking to help get everyone, especially small businesses, through these challenging times.
Based on these discussions and other concerns we’ve heard from the West Central business community, the Chamber is continuing to assemble an online Business Resource Guide. This free resource is available to anyone via our website and is updated daily with information you can put to immediate use in your business.
In the coming weeks, you will continue to see the Chamber remain steadfast in its mission of Building Business. Building Community. We will continue to support our business community to the best of our ability by providing relevant resources, all while advocating at the state and federal government. And the West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center will continue to provide free, one-on-one consultations with small businesses and help address ANY challenge they might be facing.
-Kristin Craig – President, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce