Wow, what a month it’s been! Your friends at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Paul, Donna, Tim, Kai, and Tiffany, hope you are weathering the Coronavirus storm as best you can. We want to send you a message of hope, and we want you to know that we are still hard at work on behalf of you and on behalf of the entire Washington County family.

To quote Sam Cooke, “A Change is Gonna Come.” Originally written as a protest song to support the civil rights movement, the song lyrics provide a message of hope to all of us. A change is going to come. And when we make it through this health and economic crisis, we want you to know that Team Chamber is going to be right beside you, offering support and resources to help you get back on your feet again.

You can go to www.hagerstown.org for a list of resources for business and for you, personally. Tim has been updating this website and associated webpages on an hourly basis. We are collaborating with our partners from the City of Hagerstown, Washington County Government, Greater Hagerstown, the State Maryland, our nonprofit community, and Visit Hagerstown to be sure we are getting the most relevant and up-to-date information to you each and every day.

If you have any questions, or if you need anything at all, please reach out to Team Chamber via email or phone (301-739-2015). We are working remotely but we are regularly checking and responding to all inquiries. My cell number, which you can call 24/7, is 301-514-5738. We are 100 percent committed to helping you with all of your questions, concerns, or problems. Please do reach out to us for any reason at all.

In the meantime, do remember to take care of yourself by staying in contact with your family and friends, following social distancing guidelines. Zoom conference calling has a free level of service ( www.zoom.us ) that allows you to do video calls with friends and loved ones. The free service allows up to 100 people to catch up for up to 40 minutes. One-on-one calls have unlimited call times. Take a walk, meditate, and focus on what you can control.

Remember, “A Change is Gonna Come!” Go to YouTube and take three minutes to listen to the lyrics – I think you will find hope in them.

Strong Together,

Paul 
Since the beginning of this pandemic, Your Chamber has pledged to keep not just our membership, but the community current on what matters to them most. Health, Maryland business resources, Washington County updates and resources, Restaurants still offering carry-out and delivery, job avail-abilities, and more. Information is coming in, and changing, quite literally around the clock and we felt it was best to establish a go-to source, www.hagerstown.org/strongtogether. Please click the links below to explore our different break-out pages, and please let us know if you have ANY questions about anything. Additionally, if you have information you would like to contribute, please email Director of Member Services Tim Luipersbeck at tim@hagerstown.org to be added to our website in this important capacity!
NEW MEMBERS
Give a warm welcome to our March additions!
AEK, LLC
1253 Tufts Ln.
Falling Waters, WV
240.478.5107


ARK Financial Advisors
140 Paul Smith Blvd.
Hagerstown, MD
240.513.6135


Dem360, LLC
22 N. Mulberry St., Ste. 102
Hagerstown, MD
301.850.0646


Hagerstown Heating & Cooling
511 E. Franklin St. 
Hagerstown, MD
240.469.4866


Hub City Healer
226 N. Potomac St. 
Hagerstown, MD
240.420.5300


A Kneaded Massage
1481 Salem Ave.
Hagerstown, MD
301.331.8708


Meredith Lehman (Individual)


Palmyra Farm Cheese
18811 Wagaman Rd.
Hagerstown, MD
301.606.7089


Route 11 Tattoo
17715 Virginia Ave.
Hagerstown, MD
240.313.9198


Tyler Duncan Realty Partners, Inc.
10087 Tyler Ct., Ste. 2
Ijamsville, MD
301.831.8575


Wade Architecture
19741 Leitersburg Pike, Ste. B
Hagerstown, MD
240.452.4638

Walsh Wellness Center
13018 Pennsylvania Ave. Ste 5
Hagerstown, MD
240.374.4360
THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON CHAMBER EVENTS:
In an effort to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 Coronavirus, along with Governor Hogan's Executive Orders to shut down all non-essential businesses and organizations, we here at the Chamber have made the decision to cancel all events through April with only the possible exception of April 16's B.A.S.H. and April 22nd's Teacher of the Year awards. In the coming week, we will likely have a better grasp on whether this is feasible and will be sure to communicate that with our members.

Additionally, our offices closed this week. However, operations will remain in nearly-full swing from Monday - Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm. All Chamber employees will be working remotely from home and will remain accessible via email. Voicemails will be checked periodically. Please visit  www.hagerstown.org/our-team  for a list of staff members and their email addresses and phone numbers.

Since our office will remain closed until we're told we're able to re-open, Certificates of Origin will not be able to be processed. Additionally, all committee meetings will either be cancelled or arranged for teleconferencing.

To provide our members with the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 coronavirus and the ways in which small businesses, nonprofits, and like organizations can benefit through Maryland state and federal programs, please visit our homepage, or our custom response page  www.hagerstown.org/strongtogether .

We look forward to seeing you in-person soon, but want to reassure you that we are here for you through every step of this phase. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us and let us know how we can help you!
MEMBERS ADAPTING
Browse through just some of our members who've announced changes within their organization and even some able to help you during this critical time.
Do you have something you're able to offer to our members for help? Whether its complimentary consultation, discounted services, or anything else, please email Director of Member Services Tim Luipersbeck at tim@hagerstown.org to let him know. The link below, "Members Here to Help" is a living page that is being updated constantly. Below are just a few examples, along with COVID-19 related announcements. There are, frankly, too many to list, so we pledge to add whatever "fits" to this page below, which you can find at www.hagerstown.org/memberhelp.
ANTIETAM BROADBAND PARTNERS WITH HCC TO SUPPORT STUDENTS
Antietam Broadband announced this week that they are partnering with Hagerstown Community College (HCC) to assist eligible students, with access to high-speed internet through the company’s Edu-Net Program. The goal of this partnership is to ensure students can complete course work from home while HCC is operating remotely. Both Antietam Broadband and Hagerstown Community College are invested in assisting students in areas served by Antietam during this pandemic.
 
Hagerstown Community College:
The Edu-Net Program is available to HCC students who:
o Are enrolled in credit classes at Hagerstown Community College.
o Are fully eligible for the PELL Grant Program (FAFSA completion required).
o Live in an area where Antietam Broadband Internet service is available and have not subscribed to high speed internet in the last 90 days.
 
The Edu-Net Program offers students:
o 10Mbps high-speed Internet.
·        DURING THE COVID-19 CRISIS ELIGIBLE STUDENTS WILL RECEIVE THE FIRST 60 DAYS FREE.
·        After the first 60 days, the service will be $15 per month guaranteed for up to six months.
o FREE professional in-home installation.
o FREE home WiFi access is included.
o HCC Financial Aid office will verify eligibility and notify Antietam Broadband, who will then contact the student to arrange for a service installation.
 
“These are challenging times for students and educators,” said Dr. James Klauber , President, Hagerstown Community College. “Antietam Broadband recognized our internet access needs and were able to quickly provide a solution that supports our students and our community,” said Klauber.

Operational Updates:
“We understand how important Internet service is, especially given the current situation. Our team members are committed to meeting these demands head-on in support of our community,” said Brian Lynch , President, Antietam Broadband. “While our network is experiencing increased demand, the network is performing well and we have the needed capacity to absorb the increase,” said Lynch. Antietam has opened access to over 120 Community WiFi Hotspots for all residents in Washington County. As expected, Antietam is experiencing a significant increase in WiFi Hotspot usage, and the network is responding well to the volume. To locate the nearest hotspot, download the free Antietam WiFi Finder App from Google Play and Apple App Store, or consult the map on its website:
 
In addition:
• To accommodate additional customer needs, technicians have been reassigned in order to increase capacity to perform maintenance and service installations for high speed internet and phone:
o Installation of video services have been temporarily suspended.
o Sales of video services, to reduce the installation time in homes for our technicians and installers, have been temporarily suspended.
• Data cap fees for all customers exceeding their limits are suspended through April 30, 2020.
• Late fees are temporarily waived; disconnections of service due to failure to pay are temporarily suspended.
• The Lobby is temporarily closed as of Tuesday, March 24, 2020.
• The drive-thru window will remain open. M-F from 9am -5:30pm and Sat 9am – noon.
• Payments can be made via the drop box located outside our office, drive-thru window, online, automated phone payment (select option 3 when calling), or mail to:
Antietam Broadband
P.O Box 64887
Baltimore, Maryland 21264-4887
• If you have questions or require assistance with equipment exchanges, contact 301-797-5000 or via the Live Chat feature at www.AntietamBroadband.com .
 
“Our Antietam team stands ready to assist you, offering technical support 24/7 via phone or live chat on our website. Together, we can limit the risk of spreading illness in the workplace and community,” said Brian Lynch. “Our employees are your neighbors. We take pride in supporting our community year-round, and especially at times like these,” said Lynch.
THE HR TRAIL OFFERING COVID-19 HR-RELATED QUESTIONS
Has this pandemic left you with unanswered questions for you and your business/employees? The HR Trail Consulting, LLC is here to help!
Contact them today either by phone (301-992-8725) or email ( thehrtrail@gmail.com ) with your Human Resources concerns and/or questions related to the Coronavirus.

To learn more about them, visit www.thehrtrail.com
USMH CLASSES TO BE TAUGHT ONLINE FOR REMAINDER OF SEMESTER, GRADUATION CANCELLED
Following guidance from the University System of Maryland (USM), Governor Larry Hogan, and the federal government, all USM institutions have made a collective decision to deliver undergraduate classes in a distance format for the remainder of the spring semester. This includes classes taught by the five universities offering classes at USMH: Frostburg State University, Salisbury University, Towson University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and University of Maryland Global Campus. Graduate programs require different considerations and the universities are working through those now.

Further, all USM universities have decided that they will not hold in-person commencement ceremonies. Some institutions may individually decide to hold alternative or virtual celebrations. In following this decision, USMH will not hold its annual graduation celebration. 

In addition, all face-to-face events, both organized by USMH and sponsored by one of its partner universities, have been cancelled for the remainder of the spring semester. USMH will remain administratively operational, even as the exterior doors are locked. Student services will be provided via telework through the spring semester, and until further notice. The buildings are not open to students or faculty in order to be consistent with the 10-person rule and the spirit of the Governor Hogan's remarks. 
HIGH ROCK OFFERING FREE HELP OR ADVICE
HighRock has helped businesses both large and small push through tough times. If any of you or your friends need FREE help or advice for your business, do not hesitate to reach out.

They would be glad to donate our time - weekdays, weekends, whatever to act as a resource, a sounding board, or to offer a new perspective. Please feel free to message/call/email them with the best way to get in contact with you (not physically, they promise!)
DESIGNING LEADERSHIP OFFERING COMPLIMENTARY COACHING CALLS
Designing Leadership (Morgan Plummer) is happy to provide complimentary coaching calls to business owners/entrepreneurs on navigating this season, providing strategy, and peace of mind to successfully get through this time. "We have two options, a headspace of fear or opportunity. How can we show up and continue to serve our community?" Call 7174049661 or visit

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HERALD MAIL MEDIA LAUNCHES "SUPPORTLOCAL" - A FREE RESOURCE FOR YOU
Gannett Media has launched a FREE Support Local website to help local businesses drive some online business during this challenging time and be a resource for the local community. Please see the details below. Is this something the Chamber be willing to send out this email blast to your membership? 
 
Local businesses are the backbone of our communities. They make our cities and towns unique. Herald Mail Media wants to support local businesses like yours!

·    Their reach is tremendous – and it’s growing!  In the last seven days, 318,000 unique viewers have visited  heraldmailmedia.com . Now is the time to leverage their vast, growing audience on YOUR behalf! 

·    They are rallying around local businesses and increasing their support to you. They recently launched  SupportLocal , sparking communities to take action through the purchase of gift cards, online shopping, delivery service options, and ordering take-out or delivery from restaurants. In the coming days, they will be adding additional features. It’s all about connecting their audience to local businesses like yours.

·        Add your business now!  It’s free and easy. A local rep is happy to add it for you right now as they are connecting.
·       And, you should know that they will be using their highly engaged social media audiences to promote and drive folks here.
·       Your web presence is more important than ever. They are seeing 40% more traffic on their news sites as people are at home and seeking information. Are you ready? 
  • Make sure your online listings are up to date and accurate
  • Your website needs to show up when people are searching, which means ensuring strong SEO (search engine optimization) practices. SEO can be a journey, but there are things you can do now. Download this Free eBook  
  • Your website overall should be ready for prime-time, especially to stay relevant with updates regarding your day-to-day operations.
  • Herald Mail has a tool that scores your online presence. Let them know if you want to know your grade, and they can set up time to review it with you! Contact your local sales representative or Advertising Director, Brittney Hamilton at 301-331-5501 for more information.
LEGALSHIELD ANSWERING QUESTIONS IN TIMES OF UNCERTAINTY
CLICK HERE to view a series of questions law firms are already receiving or more importantly questions LegalShield 's firms have said as a Small Business Owner you should be considering! Bottom line is that regardless as to whether or not they see value in LegalShield, they need to be putting their counsel to work on these and other concerns such as contract obligations, rent, privacy issues regarding employees' health, etc.
PLAYHOUSE ACCEPTING VIDEO AUDITIONS FOR MAMMA MIA
The Washington County Playhouse Dinner Theater is accepting VIDEO AUDITIONS for MAMMA MIA! 

ABBA’s hits tell the hilarious story of a young woman’s search for her birth father. This sunny and funny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the identity of her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

Auditions are to be submitted to washcoplayhouseauditions@gmail.com with the Subject Line: “[Your Name] Mamma Mia! Audition.” Submissions should include the following:
1. A video recording of you singing 16 bars of a song in the style of the show, sung a cappella or with instrumental accompaniment. Please do not use accompaniment containing vocals.
2. Headshot
3. Resume
4. Dance reel or a detailed list of all relevant dance experience. (*Dance requirements differ by role. All roles will require at least minimal movement.)

This production will be directed by Shawn R. Martin with music direction by Tyler Miller and choreography by Jenn Reed. All roles are open to ages 16 and up. Submissions are due by 5:00pm (EST) on Saturday, March 28th. Callbacks will take place by invited appointment on April 1st. 

Those cast will be given the opportunity to join the lunch/dinner service staff (if legally eligible, and following training) where they may earn gratuities. There is no compensation for solely performing in the production.

Performance Dates (all performances in the evening unless specified): June 19, 20, 27, 28 (matinee), July 10, 12 (matinee), 18, 24, 25, August 1, 7, & 8.
REACH OF WASHINGTON COUNTY'S RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Executive Director Dana Jenkins , MBA and Reach of Washington County have shared some upcoming operational changes due to COVID-19. 

Reach’s Board of Directors met this week to discuss COVID-19, Governor Hogan’s executive and emergency orders, CDC recommendations, and the safety and wellbeing of our clients, volunteers and staff. With the potentially deadly impact of the virus and increased widespread, the BOD has decided to make some adjustments to our operations to maintain safety and most importantly, provide critical services to our county’s most vulnerable population.  

Their Cold Weather Shelter will close at 7 AM on Sunday, March 29, 2020. They appreciate all the support from the community and their 1600 volunteers for another successful season. There were many success stories and they are so very proud of our clients.

Case Managers will continue to work with their clients with permanent housing and other critical needs.

Mail services for clients will be offered on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 AM – 1 PM.

Crisis services will be call-in ONLY on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 AM – 1 PM. Anyone needing crisis services should call or contact:
Jackie: jackie@reachofwc.org or 301-733-2371 x 108 OR
Pam: pam@reachofwc.org or 301-733-2371 x 105

Financial Literacy classes are currently on hold, but they are working on ways to provide them to the community via alternative mediums. More info to come.

Bridge to Change is temporarily on hold.

We will keep the front door of the shelter updated with important community information for the clients.

We are all in an unprecedented and challenging time, and they are dedicated to their clients and community. Along with their BOD they are staying in contact with all pertinent sources and monitoring the environment daily knowing things may rapidly change, yet, they are ready to make adjustments when and if necessary. If there is anything they can do to help, do not hesitate to contact them. They are honored to be part of such a wonderful community collaboration, and we will get through this together. 
SIGN UP FOR DAILY WASHINGTON COUNTY
JOINT INFORMATION CENTER (JIC) UPDATES
Washington County, Maryland has invited many partners to form a Joint Information Center (JIC) created to address COVID-19 Coronavirus.

Here at the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, we're proud to be involved in these daily meetings and contributing to the County's daily press releases. We're in good company: Meritus Health, Washington County Public Schools, Hagerstown Community College, The City of Hagerstown, Washington County Sheriff's Department, Washington County Health Department. All of these agencies combine information on a daily basis to form one uniform email per day.

We want YOU to be a part of this mailing list, but you need to sign up to receive these messages and encourage you to pass along the word to the rest of our community, should they be interested in receiving these alerts in their Inbox.

Do you have something to share with fellow Chamber members? Simply email Director of Member Services Tim Luipersbeck at tim@hagerstown.org to get started on this free opportunity.
Washington County Chamber of Commerce members include more than 650 organizations, representing over 40,000 local jobs in a wide variety of industries: Retail, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Skilled Trades, Service and Hospitality, Technology, Government, Nonprofit, and Education.