Resources for Adapting and Growing Your Business During the Pandemic
Submitted By Elena Stewart, firstname.lastname@example.org
As a small business owner, you’ve probably been struggling with the effects of the pandemic since the beginning, and you’re likely always evaluating what will be the next best move. Below, the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce offers a few ways to help your employees, improve your store and adapt your business model to thrive in the new environment created by the pandemic.
Starting a New Business: When Necessity Knocks
Starting a new business requires time, patience, and planning. You may also need some freelancers to help you get your idea off the ground!
List your skills and ask where they are most needed.
File your business officially with the state; this also provides some legal protections for you.
Connect with the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce.
Helping Your Employees
If you have been fortunate enough to retain your employees throughout the crisis, there are still many ways to support your staff as you consider reopening. These are a few things to keep in mind.
Include a flexible sick leave policy in your work handbook.
Make a social distancing plan for keeping employees safe in the workplace.
Better yet, let your employees start (or continue) working from home if possible.
If you have any remote employees, work hard on promoting a sense of belonging.
Improving Your Business
If you’ve cut back on your store hours or are still waiting to fully reopen, there are lots of things you can do now to improve your business.
Improve your signage or displays to increase foot traffic.
Put up signs or implement other safety measures to reassure customers.
Switching Your Approach
Even once infections rates slow down, the pandemic will probably leave a lasting impact on the ways we interact with one another. These ideas can help you keep up with the times and stay relevant.
Take the time to redesign your website so it’s more user-friendly.
Try to find a new angle for selling your products or services.
Joining the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce or other business associations can provide additional insight and inspiration for keeping your business afloat.
The pandemic has hit small business owners hard, but there’s hope. Things probably won’t ever fully return to the way they were before, but you can help keep your business going by supporting your employees, making your customers feel safe and always looking for fresh ways to do business.
If you’ve spent the last several years building a work-from-home career only to suffer a job loss during the pandemic, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans are trying to bounce back after a career setback. But you have an advantage many others don’t: You’re used to working from home. Now, you just have to get out there, find more work, and ensure that you’re set up for long-term success. Here are some practical tips to get you started:
Hit the Web
These days, it’s easier than ever to find jobs online.
- Start with general interest job sites like Indeed, Monster, and Career Builder.
- If you want sites more tailored to freelance and contract work, try Upwork, Fiverr, and Toptal Business.
- Use Virtual Vocations, FlexJobs, and Remote.co for finding remote-only work.
- To find tech-related remote jobs, try GitHub Jobs, AngelList, and PowerToFly.
Make a Workspace
No matter what kind of work you do at home, you will need a proper workstation.
- Make sure your workspace allows you to separate your work and home life.
- Choose a location in your home that provides plenty of access to natural light.
- Choose attractive and efficient lighting to use during the darker hours.
- Don’t hesitate to put out a few house plants.
- Paint the walls a color that motivates you and helps you stay productive.
Continuing to learn and investing in the right tools will go a long way in helping you succeed.
- Find marketing and social networking opportunities when you join the Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce.
- Consider pursuing an online degree to grow your business knowledge and skills.
- Invest in a quality desk and ergonomic chair for your workspace.
- Look into all of the communication and collaboration tools that can help you succeed as a remote worker.
- And don’t forget about the wealth of productivity apps out there that can help you stay accountable and efficient on a daily basis.
Even though no one really knows how long the pandemic will last, it doesn’t have to stop you from having a great career now and in the future. Look on the right job sites for new work, make sure you have a sufficient workspace, and equip yourself for short-term and long-term success.
Article courtesy of Katie Conroy , email@example.com
The 2020 Business Showcase is running from October 5 through Dec. 14. Enter to win a $250 cash prize and other drawing prizes such as:
$25 Amazon Card
Wooden Hand-made Jewelry Box
(4) 16 Minute Go Kart Rides (1 PRIZE)
Frontier Lanes Bowl & Meal Package for 2
Free Month Gymnastics Lessons
(2) $25 Ruby’s on Main Gift Certificates
(5) $50 Gift Cards or cash
1 year Subscription for Villager News
Rechargeable Weed Eater
Custom Keepsake Mini Bat
(3) Gift Basket Prizes:
1 at $25 value
2 at $50 value (one with tools)
(3) Separate 1-Night Stays at Romantic Spa Rooms Prizes at:
Biggers B&B, Riverview Falls, or Cedar Glade Resort
Rare & Valuable Coin Set
Phone Protection Pro Wrap ($40)
*Drawing prizes are donated by participating SRACC Members
HERE WAYS TO ENTER THE DRAWINGS:
- GO TO THE SPRING RIVER AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FACEBOOK PAGE AND LIKE, SHARE AND COMMENT ON THE BUSINESS SHOWCASE FACEBOOK POSTS THAT BEGAN OCTOBER 5.
- VISIT THE WEEKLY FEATURED MEMBERS AND ENTER DRAWINGS ON SITE
- PURCHASE GOODS/SERVICES FROM FEATURED MEMBERS THROUGH DECEMBER 14 AND EMAIL PHOTO OF RECEIPT TO: firstname.lastname@example.org
Whatever sort of adventure travelers are craving, Arkansas delivers. And although visitors may come to our state for different reasons, they all leave with a similar impression – that our state is welcoming, authentic and the perfect place to relax and recharge. Not only that, they want to come back for a return visit. And who can blame them?
Arkansas is home to experiences and attractions found nowhere else. Travelers can dig for diamonds and keep what they find at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro. They can tour one of only three purse museums in the world at ESSE Purse Museum in Little Rock. Or, they can ride some of the best mountain biking trails on the planet.
Arkansas’s communities large and small welcome guests of all ages, races and nationalities, offering local dining, historical attractions, outdoor recreation and so much more. Visitors also enjoy a multitude of inexpensive family activities across the state, including at our 52 state parks. Clearly, there’s a reason why we say The Natural State is a natural choice for travel.
Here is the 2019 Arkansas Tourism Economic Impact Report:ARKANSAS TOURISM 2019 ECONOMIC IMPACT REPORT
This guide explores the business value and ROI of joining a chamber of commerce. Small business owners and entrepreneurs often overlook chambers of commerce because they are unfamiliar with them. However, this guide provides a useful introduction to the benefits of joining a chapter, the fees and choices available to business owners, and how to become a chamber member.
What is a Chamber of Commerce?
Chamber of commerce is a broad term referring to a business network. This network is made of individuals who invest their time and money into the organization, generally with the goal of advancing their community’s economic well-being. Often, a chamber of commerce is made up of local business owners and entrepreneurs in a designated geographical area who advocate for local business.
Customers respond 63% more favorably to businesses that are members of a local chamber of commerce.
Each chamber of commerce is run as an individual organization, known as a chapter. A chapter represents a local, regional, state, or national interest. A chapter also represents many different initiatives and viewpoints within a specific community — typically with a pro-business and pro-free-enterprise viewpoint. While many people might associate the chamber of commerce with the government, it is not a government entity. A chamber will often lobby the government (whether local, state, or national) to ensure the chapter’s legislative agenda is represented. Chapters do not, however, receive any funding from the government.
The idea of a chamber of commerce has been around for hundreds of years. Today, you can find thousands of chapters across the country. For example, one of America’s largest chapters, the United States Chamber of Commerce, was founded in 1912. There are over 4,000 chapters in the U.S. advocating for a variety of issues, including tax policies, legal reform, and economic reform. While the guiding principles for each chapter are different, many of their goals center around economic development, prosperity, and employer community.
Benefits of Joining a Chamber of Commerce
Joining a chamber of commerce provides businesses with access to resources, discounts, and relationships that enable them to save money, market their products, and streamline their processes. Both employees internal to individual chapters and members of chapters bring their own benefits to the total body. Whether your business is looking for B2B partners and sales, help with customer acquisition, or guidance on HR processes, a chamber of commerce can help.
For more information go to the following link:
The Value of Chambers of Commerce for Businesses
Lauren Siebert, Areawide News reporter, was honored at the 2019 Spring River Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards & Recognition Banquet on February 4, 2020 with several top awards, including the E.Wilson Green Award and the Volunteer of the Year Award.
When Lauren was presented with the award from Susan Jett , who was one of the recipients last year, her attention was directed at the side of the room where her parents were standing. “Here I was at 30 years old being honored with an award you get once in a lifetime,” Lauren Siebert mused, “ and when I saw my parents, whom I was not expecting as they were supposed to be out of town, I almost lost my mind! Here I was surrounded by my parents, grandmother, friends and people I highly respect sharing this highlight of my life with me!”
Previously, SRACC President Ethan Barnes had presented her with his Volunteer of the Year Award, whom is chosen by the president to the volunteer that has supported the chamber the most. “It is a difficult decision because there are so many hard working board members that donated their time throughout the year, but Lauren is always the first to step up when needed without being asked, and she has brought in more new chamber members in the last two years than any other volunteer. She highly deserved this recognition.”
Ty Rowland, son of Pam and Jeremy Rowland, won the Future Leader Award which was started last year to honor a young person who has provided excellent service to the community. State Representative Fran Cavenaugh sponsored the Future Leader Award and presented each of the nominees a coin from the House of Representatives. This is the second year this award was given.
Member of the Year Awards were presented to Ozark Classic Crafts Mall (Bronze); Mike Watson State Farm Insurance – Highland and Melbourne offices (Silver); First Community Bank (Gold); Ozarka College (Platinum); Mission of Hope (Nonprofit), and Kasey Carter (Individual).
The 2019 Photo Contest had two winners, the 2020 Annual Guide Cover Award was won by Chuck Averwater, and the People’s Choice Award was won by Leigh LaCaze.
The 2020 Banquet was held at the BPOE Highland Elks Lodge and was the highest attended banquet with over 270 tickets sold. The Chicken Florentine dinner was catered by Artisan Grill. Guest speaker Dr. Shane Hunt, professor in sales leadership and marketing at Arkansas State University, gave a fabulous presentation about brand building, which really starts with how others perceive you or your company.
SRACC President Barnes emceed the event that also included a summary of the chamber’s 2019 accomplishments and goals for 2020. Executive Director Kari Hollis announced the chamber has literally doubled in size in the last couple of years and is offering members more and more benefits in advertising, promotion, shop local events, member-to-member discount program, and Blue Ribbon Welcomes.
The SRACC is thankful for thier sponsors, which included the WRMC Medical Complex as the Awards Sponsor, and the following Table Sponsors: Art Center of North Arkansas; Centennial Bank; City of Cherokee Village; Coldwell Bankers Ozark Real Estate Co.; State Representative Fran Cavenaugh/Future Leader nominees; Highland Assembly; King-Rhodes & Associates Real Estate; Mike Watson State Farm Insurance – Highland & Melbourne offices; North Arkansas Electric Cooperative; Ozark Classic Crafts Mall; Ozark Gateway Realty, OGWLLC; Ozarka College; Triple R Pawn and Bail Bonds; Spring River Draft House; St. Bernards First Care – Highland; Tri-County Farm & Ranch Supply, and WRMC Medical Complex.
The SRACC 2020 Board of Directors was installed and include: Ethan Barnes, President; Lauren Siebert, 1st Vice President; Kasey Carter, Secretary; Laura Clute, Treasurer; Eddie Ishmael, Past President; and directors Debra Ball, Joey Cooper, Nathan Criss, Marc Herring, Fred Holzhauer, Susan Jett, Angela Phipps, Rhonda Messer, Jody Smotherman and Clint Wiles.
The silent auction was a huge success that raised over $1,800 with items donated by Ozark Gateway Realty Ozarka College, B&B Supply, Platinum Rive, r Hardy Village Antiques, Ozark Classic Crafts Mall, Progressive Eye Center, Spring River Draft House, Biggers Bed & Breakfast, Centennial Bank, Arts Center of North Arkansas, The Master’s Bouquet & Christian Book Store; Twomey PC Repair; Leaves & Beans; Triple D Package Store; Frontier Lanes; The Tanning Bed, FNBC, and Rox Outfitters. Also , Dr. Shane Hunt donated a signed book. And the 50/50 raffle netted $296 for the Scholarship Fund.