COVID-19 Update from the
Habersham County Chamber of Commerce
Dear Chamber Members,

The health and safety of our members and community is a top priority for the Habersham County Chamber. Click here to find the COVID-19 brochure created by the Center for Disease Control that we encourage you to print and share with your employees and customers. 
Our Chamber office will remain open during our normal business hours: 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Our staff will be working in shifts to make sure all business operations continue. In compliance with CDC guidelines, we have decided to postpone the following events that were scheduled to be held in the next two weeks: Chamber Double Bowling Tournament, Joint Business After Hours, Leadership Habersham, Young Professionals Social.  Any board or committee meetings will be held virtually. Please keep an eye on our website and social media for updates on events, Chamber news and resources to help your business weather this trying time.

Additionally, with the impacts of COVID-19 on our local business community already in effect, in addition to good hand hygiene and common-sense precautions with your employees and patrons, the Habersham County Chamber encourages all local businesses to consider the following: 

·      For your business:  Prepare for negative economic impacts. 
·      Capital: Create, confirm, or expand your line of credit. 
·      Staffing: Develop staffing plans for varying levels of customers and revenue
(what does an 80% scenario plan look like?).
·      Insurance: Check with your insurance provider to understand your coverage
and options.

·      Helpful links: 
·      Small Business Administration Business response guidance and economic disaster injury loan program:
·      Business Continuity Plan guidance: 

·      For your customers:  Make your place of business as hygienic as possible and communicate what you are doing to customers so they feel comfortable visiting. 

·      For your employees:  Check, modify, and communicate HR policies regarding remote working, sick-leave, and compensation during a health crisis. Try to ensure your policies are as flexible and non-punitive as possible. Sick employees should be encouraged to stay home. 

·      For your workflow:  Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences. Where relevant, consider staggering start and end times to reduce large numbers of people coming together at the same time; and create and test remote employee collaboration systems (consider apps such as Slack and Zoom).

·      For your cashflow:  Communicate with your landlord (or tenants) and lenders about expectations and request flexibility (better to have that conversation now).

·      For yourself:  Eat well, sleep, and exercise. Taking care of yourself in this time of stress will improve your resistance to infection and resilience in managing difficult business situations. And of course, wash your hands all the time and don’t touch your face, or anyone else, for that matter. 

·      For your Chamber: We exist to serve our members. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us with questions about business resources during this difficult time.
Now, more than ever, our community will need to support each other. Chambers of Commerce have carried the “Shop Local” flag for sometime now. We do it because we believe in it. Today, we do it because our community is absolutely going to depend on it.

Thank you for your support.

Mary Beth Horton

Habersham County Chamber of Commerce
668 US 441 Business Cornelia, GA 30531