Monday 3/16
Office closed. YOUR Chamber always open.
As of today, Monday March 16th The Visitors Information Center (VIC) and Chamber Office will be closed to the public. Claudia & John will be supporting members and working from home. Voicemail will be forwarded and we will be responding to member inquiries as quickly as possible. For assistance, please contact us directly: (413)687-9661 (413)658-4460

Update & Strategies

Dear Amherst Area Member,
As of last evening, Governor Baker made announcements that further restrict businesses, restaurants/bars/hospitality, and move us all more clearly to the new normal of working remotely. Full executive order and guidelines here .

Our own office has been cleaned and we are all now working from home beginning today to maintain the health and well-being of our staff. We are adjusting as well to this new operating mode.

Thus, we thought it appropriate and helpful to offer a little guidance from our newest member, Maureen Sullivan, of Maureen Sullivan Media :

“For those of you foraying into the world of working from home for the first time this morning, you may be feeling a bit untethered and adrift without your usual routine and structure. I worked from my home office for three years and then relaunched my marketing and event business full time in January of this year, so I am working again from my home office.

I offer you these tips that have worked for me in case they are helpful as you navigate this new territory.

1. Get up at the same time as you do every day when you go into the office.

2. Consider taking a walk before you get ready for the day. The very act energizes me and tricks my brain into thinking that I am leaving the house to go somewhere rather than being stuck in the house all day.

3. Take a shower and get dressed as if you were going into the office. Resist the urge to stay in your pajamas or sweats. I am much more productive when I get dressed and show up in my home office - even if there is no one else there to say they like my new shoes, or to ask where I bought my blouse. If a client asks for an impromptu meeting, I am ready to go.

4. Stick to a schedule. Don’t do any chores around the house. The dishwasher may need to be emptied, the laundry may need to be done, and the sheets may need to be changed, but you are working - pretend you are still at your office and not at home.

5. Don’t be distracted by people who think that because you are working from home you are really not working and can be available at any time. Sure, working from home allows some flexibility that you might not have in an office setting, and if you can break away to go out for a coffee, or run a quick errand, go for it, but try to avoid distractions or you won’t be very productive.

I love working from my home office. I listen to NEPR, and when there is piano music playing, I pretend that my computer keyboard is a piano keyboard. There is always a cup of tea on my desk. I can open the windows on warm days, and when the sun is out, it shines warm upon my back. And until we meet again, my friends - in offices, in restaurants and in coffee shops, may we all hold each other in our hearts.”

Again, if you have the ability to move your 'store' online, do so. Whether it is take out, or online ordering and even offering delivery.

Look for more tools coming your way. We are in your corner.
Claudia Pazmany, Executive Director
John Page, Marketing and Membership Director
COVID-19 Data Collection - Helping us help you.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Baker-Polito Administration are working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which would provide assistance to eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19.
The first step in this process is to meet a minimum threshold of affected businesses within Massachusetts. To do this, affected small businesses and non-profits should download, complete, and submit the SBA EIDL Worksheet and Instructions to expedite activation of the EIDL program.
Completed forms may be submitted by email to or by fax to (508) 820-1401. If submitting by fax, please include an email address. Please send a copy to the Chamber as well at
Please note, this initial survey form is not a SBA loan application . When the EIDL program is activated, you will be contacted to apply directly to the SBA and this website will be updated with application details.