Local Chambers of Commerce Are Stepping Up

 Local Chambers of Commerce Are Stepping Up

Part of the team at the African American Chamber here in Cincinnati

Just hours after Governor Mike DeWine handed down the state’s first “shelter-in-place” order in mid-March to slow the outbreak of COVID-19, Jourdan Ivory, program director at the African-American Chamber of Commerce (AACC) of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, was already hatching a plan to move in-person programming online. The first program, “Project Management Made Easy,” went virtual on March 18, only two days after the governor’s order went into effect.

“We had the benefit of having a lot of our tech advances in place, which allowed us to pivot to the online space with ease,” Ivory says. “I think that most of the success is because we were able to focus in more on helping our members and attendees navigate the new software and virtual space versus having to install it, onboard staff, and then onboard our members.”

The chamber is still on track to offer more than 200 programs for its members and affiliates this year. The 20 or so virtual programs it has done so far have been recorded and posted on the organization’s website and YouTube channel.

“With there being a need now more than ever to fill your time at home, we felt that it was important to make sure that we were still able to offer this amazing programming in a space that was not only safe but easily accessible,” Ivory adds. “We are now doing programs on Zoom and plan on keeping the platform rolling even after social distancing has been taken away.”

Like the AACC, specialty chambers of commerce all across the region are finding ways, big and small, to support their members who are being hit hard by COVID-19.

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Jim Prues