Business After Hours
Ugly Sweater Holiday Party & Toy Drive
Co-hosted by GIAC & Tompkins Connect
Wednesday, December 9 | 5-7 p.m.

Join us for our December virtual Business After Hours Ugly Sweater Holiday Happy Hour with co-hosts the Greater Ithaca Activities Center and Tompkins Connect. As part of our virtual Business After Hours we will be supporting the Annual GIAC/Tompkins Connect Toy Drive program.

Providing in a hope-filled environment to the underserved in the greater Ithaca area, last year, Tompkins Connect and GIAC collected and distributed toys to over 80 children, 100% of which were donated. Come join us in providing joy for one child this holiday season.

Click below to learn more about how to donate an item or two, participate in the Ugly Sweater Competition, and have fun with us at our last Business After Hours of the year!
Networking at Noon:
Year End Tax, Accounting, Legal, and Business Concerns Virtual Expert Panel
Thursday, December 17th | Noon - 1:15 pm

COVID-19 has caused significant disruption across many industries in 2020, and will continue well into 2021. Add to that typical year-end considerations for businesses where legal, tax, financial, and human resources are concerned - and there's a lot to sort through.

Join the Tompkins Chamber and experts from Sciarabba Walker, Coughlin & Gerhart, and other members as we shift our industry focus to year end Financial, Legal, and Human Resources considerations. Learn more at our website!
Visit Ithaca Needs Your Support

Through the impact of tourism, Visit Ithaca strengthens our community’s economy, providing benefit to all the people of Tompkins County.

The CVB has experienced a nearly 50% reduction in total funding from all sources in 2020, and expects similar impacts in 2021. Yet our team has continued to work hard to support our tourism partners and to attract and serve visitors to our community, which has a direct impact on small businesses and residents in our region.

We need your help. Whatever you might contribute, whether it is $25 or $250, the CVB and Chamber promise to leverage your donation to benefit our entire community's economy, keeping important programming efforts alive, and helping our partners navigate these uncertain waters. We know you value the connections we build, and appreciate your consideration of a year end gift at this very challenging time.
Women in Business Roundtable
Virtual Holiday Season Gathering
Thursday, November 17th | 3-4:30 p.m.

We'll gather for a facilitated conversation with women business and nonprofit leaders from all throughout Tompkins County and our broader Chamber membership.

Important conversations, real-time brainstorming, and a supportive environment are the hallmarks of our regular Women in Business Roundtable gatherings - especially during the holiday season.
Healthy Workforce Network
On-the-Job Training Grant

This funding is intended to support people in recovery receiving educational and training supports, new job opportunities, and maintaining a recovery friendly employer base in Tompkins County and regionally.

Under this contract, training grants with a maximum payout of $2,000 will be available to businesses that are hiring a new employee or promoting an existing employee, and providing the training needed to be successful in their new role. The training grant will be used to provide the employee with the additional training needed in order to fulfill the job responsibilities.
Tompkins Connect Seeks Nominations for 2020 Superheroes in Fab5 Young Professional Awards

Tompkins Connect is excited to announce it is now accepting nominations for the sixth annual Fab5 Young Professional Awards sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company. The Fab5 Awards celebrate the achievement of young professionals ages 21-40 in Tompkins County.

The Fab5 Awards categories are: Entrepreneur of the Year, Not-for-Profit Leader of the Year, Businesses Leader of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Essential Worker “Hero” of the Year. Be sure to nominate someone before it's too late!
Check Out Our Weekly Local Shopping Guide Each Friday!

Each Friday we'll deliver a shopping guide with new deals, special member offerings, and more directly to your inbox. Click below for last Friday's shop local message!
Taitem Engineering's Ian Shapiro Releases Second Issue of Green Building Illustrated; to offer Zoom webinar Thursday

Ian will be giving a Zoom webinar, hosted by Urban Green Council, this Thursday December 10, from noon to 1 pm, talking about recent developments and future directions in green building design:

The New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) has temporarily increased incentives for clean energy projects for low-and-moderate income households. In addition, NYSERDA has made energy studies for non-profits and small businesses entirely free.

The changes went live this summer and will be effective through the end of December 2020 (you need to qualify by then; work can be done afterwards). Here is a summary of the major changes:

EmPower New York subsidy increased from $7,000 to $10,000 max. This program for low-income homeowners and renters covers 100% of the cost of improvements in insulation, air sealing, and some health and safety measures. 

Assisted Home Performance with Energy Star subsidy increased from $4,000 to $5,000 max. This is a matching grant for moderate income households. The eligibility for this program has changed from 80% of area median income to 120% of area median income.

Green Jobs Green New York Energy Studies has eliminated the cost-share requirement for non-profits and small businesses.

Please note that the NYSERDA websites may not yet have been updated to reflect these program changes. Interested in learning more about these programs or in applying for them. Fill out this short intake form and let Get Your Greenback know how they can help!
Local, Regional, and New York State COVID-19 Updates

While the Southern Tier positivity rates are consistently the lowest among NYS regions, we are seeing concerning case increases and fluctuations in hospitalizations in Tompkins County and surrounding areas. Locally and statewide, data show that the majority of positive cases are resulting from household spread and small gatherings.

Upcoming SBA Webinars
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application & EIDL Request
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is hosting four webinars on the topic of PPP Loan Forgiveness. They have asked that those interested in attending send an email to SBA representative Man - Li requesting one of the below dates to attend.
  • Monday, December 14 | 12:30 PM
  • Monday, December 21 | 12:30 PM
  • Monday, December 28 | 12:30 PM

The webinars are FREE, but you must contact the SBA to pre-register.
Tompkins Chamber and CVB Property at East Shore Drive for Sale

Tompkins Chamber & CVB have announced that our property at East Shore Drive is listed for sale, after much consideration and decades of being headquartered at this iconic facility. We're excited to see what will come next for our organization, and for 904 E. Shore Drive. Click below for the listing information!
Did you miss one of our L.E.A.R.N. webinars or Networking @ Noon Industry Insights events?

You can watch them all right on our YouTube channel. Consider subscribing to receive updates every time we post a new video!


Tompkins County has a resource for your job posting called "Workforce Redirect", intended to match job seekers with those employers that are currently hiring.

Contact Workforce Development Board Executive Director Natalie Branosky to have your business added to this page.
December Meeting Schedule

Chamber Foundation Board of Trustees
Wednesday, December 9th | 9 - 10:15 a.m.

Admin & Finance/Executive Committee Meetings
Tuesday, December 15th | 8 - 9:30 a.m.

Board of Directors
Wednesday, December 16th | 8 - 9:30 a.m.

All meetings require advance registration & will be virtual until further notice. Register with Carly Hansen at
Our team is here to help.

Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at For specific need areas:

Ritza Francois, Membership Referrals & Support
Carly Hansen, Operations/Account Assistance
Jordan Herson, E-blasts, Chambergram ads, Member of the Week
Diane Hemly, Bookkeeper - AP/AR Questions
Jennifer Tavares, Economic Recovery/Communications & PR
David Walton, Event & Program/Sponsor Inquiries

Note: Our offices are open by appointment - please reach out to Carly, Diane, or Jennifer if you need to visit us.