April 23, 2020
Members and Supporters,

Our first Chamber Connect Virtual Networking was a huge success last week. We know it’s a challenging time and connection is so important. Last week was such a success that we’re rolling out the Chamber Connect weekly. Grab a drink, pull up a chair, turn on zoom and join us each Thursday from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m. to connect, share and network with Chamber members and guests. Check out upcoming Chamber Connect events via the events calendar .

Speaking of online events….check out the announcement below about our new Ask The Expert series!  Have you registered for our upcoming webinars? 

The Facebook Member Group continues to grow! If you are a member, please request access via Facebook Member Group . We are sharing out COVID-19 updates as well as lighter topics such as food pics, etc. Come join in and CONNECT with fellow Chamber Members, tell us more about you and your business. We love hearing from our members. 

It’s a challenging time but We Are All In This TOGETHER . If you need anything please call the Chamber Office at 832-510-3002 or email info@houstonlgbtchamber.com . We are here for you.
Tammi Wallace
Co-Founder & Board Chair
Tell Congress More Funds are Needed for Small Business Loan Programs TODAY!
Did you catch our recent action alert with the Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce? The Texas LGBT Chambers of Commerce is engaging our statewide membership to take action and let Congress know that more funding is needed and NOW. 
 
Take action!   We urge you to contact your U.S. Representative and U.S. Senators TODAY and let them know how you and/or your business has been impacted by the health crisis and that more funding is needed NOW.

We've made it easy for you to contact your elected officials. Just click on the link below.

Apply for The Cannon Startup Innovation Scholarship!
Our Chamber Member, The Cannon , has teamed up again with their supportive partner Insperity, to bring you the Startup Innovation Scholarship for the third year in a row. You're going to want to consider applying for this one because it couldn't come at a better time. 

The Cannon Startup Innovation Scholarship brought to you by Insperity will be awarded to one culture-conscious startup on May 11th. This year, The Cannon is asking you to think hard on one primary area of your company, the people in it. 

Here's What You Stand to Win

This year's winner will receive a set of memberships from The Cannon that is loaded with valuable resources to propel your startup and best of all, it will also include dedicated workspace for six luxurious months at The Cannon Main Campus , brought to you by Insperity . Insperity puts the culture of people on your team at the forefront of this scholarship and provides a dedicated space for you to perform your best work here at The Cannon. With the implications of COVID-19 on startups this year, the prize couldn't come at a better time to cut expenses and propel your company forward at the same time. The award will be granted once the Stay-at-Home Order is lifted.

Here's How The Contest Will Work

  • Applications will be accepted starting today until midnight, April 24th (after which, the rest of the applications turn into pumpkins). You can apply directly on our Scholarship webpage here, or by clicking the button at the end of this email.
  • A very important aspect of your application will be how your company is addressing its own culture. How are you, as a company, working to motivate your people and amplify, if not, build your culture during this pandemic? How are you practicing compassion and empathy with your employees, and ensuring that despite the unknowns of tomorrow, your team feels like they are still a priority? We want to know. 
  • The Cannon will notify our Top 5 Finalists between April 28th - May 1st, so once you've applied, mark your calendars to look for that update. We will take to Facebook LIVE on May 1st to publicly announce our Top 5 Finalists and open the public polls to voting. (You'll learn more on how that works if you make it to the Final Round). Make sure you're a friend of the Cannon on Facebook to get notified when they go live.
  • We will announce The Cannon's 2020 Startup Innovation Scholarship Winner on May 11th. Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you!
Upcoming Events & Webinars
Check the events calendar for our upcoming webinars and events including Ask The Expert (Tuesdays), Webinars (Wednesdays) and Chamber Connect (Thursdays).
We are rolling out a new online series to support our Chamber Members called Ask The Expert. What is Ask The Expert? Ask The Expert is a regular online series that will be provided throughout the COVID19 outbreak to provide expert support for Chamber Members. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions on issues such as business operations, financial health, technical support for working from home, personal health and wellness, and more. Check out our first Ask The Expert event on May 5.

Check the Events Calendar frequently for more webinars. Do you have an idea for a webinar you would like to see? Email info@houstonlgbtchamber.com to share your thoughts. Would you like to present a webinar? Complete the Program Proposal Form .

We know that during this time our members need us now more than ever. We will continue programming through video-conference to provide opportunities for new resources, skills and leads.
SBDC On-Demand Webinars
Did you know that the SBDC has a host of on-demand webinars for business owners?

Business owners will find a variety of on-demand webinars that will help you manage and grow your business. Delivered by industry experts and designed to give you quick bursts of solutions, tips, and recommendations you can start using immediately. Each webinar can be viewed in under an hour and is available 24 hours a day -7 days a week. Click here to access the webinars.
Joint Call to Action!
The Chamber signed on to a joint call to action for essential legislation with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), US Black Chamber (USBC), Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC), the Asian American Pacific Islander Chamber of Commerce (ACE) and other LGBT Affiliate Chambers. The letter was sent to House and Senate Leaders showing collective support from these diverse business organizations for more funding for small business, inclusion of 501(c)(6)s in relief for nonprofit organizations and the eligibility of and increased assistance for diverse small and micro businesses.

Why the inclusion of 501(c)(6)s? The Greater Houston LGBT Chamber operates as 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. 501(c)(6) organizations were not eligible for certain relief opportunities in the CARES Act. Chamber’s across the country, including our chamber, are playing a pivotal role in helping their members and communities through this crisis. Critical funding is needed as chambers are being impacted by COVID. 
Greater Houston Business Recovery Center
As businesses of all sizes across industry sectors continue to respond to the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation, company leaders must begin to plan for the recovery period that lies ahead. In an effort to build a business-led recovery initiative for the greater Houston region, the Greater Houston Partnership has established the Greater Houston Business Recovery Center (GHBRC) , which will provide guidance on policy and financing related to recovery programs. 

Check out the Partnership’s COVID-19 Business Forum for recent webinars
Members Helping Members Through ChamberCares!
Thank you to Corrie Domingo , with BALANI Custom Clothiers. She and her husband, Rhabby, generously donated food to Legacy Community Health (the breakfast klub) & SignatureCare ER (Maggiano’s) through ChamberCares .  Corrie and Rhabby supported ChamberCares through their fitness studio, TROPA Z Fitness & Strength Training Studio. Corrie and Rhabby took supported Legacy and SignatureCare through funds donated by participants in their online TROPA Z fitness sessions. #MembersSupportingMembers. We it!
Harris County Business Survey
Below is a link to a survey that will help evaluate the impacts to the business community within Harris County from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This data will help evaluate the businesses being impacted by this event. The Harris County COVID Business Survey is provided as a situational awareness resource tool for Harris County Office of Homeland Security & Emergency Management (HCOHSEM).
COVID Resource Page
Check out the recent updates to the Chamber's COVID-19 Resource page here . We continue to update the COVID Resource Page with information to help our members navigate this challenging time.
Chamber Blog
Have you checked out the Chamber Back to Business Blog lately? We have some great insight from members who offer timely advice about how to deal with the impact of COVID, plus you’ll find past Chamber Connection newsletters and COVID-19 updates. Click here to read more.
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Greater Houston LGBT Chamber of Commerce | 832-510-3002 | info@houstonlgbtchamber.com | houstonlgbtchamber.com