Dear Members and Partners,

What a year this has been. We continue to reflect on all that we are grateful for, despite how difficult 2020 has been for our organization, our members and partners, our community - and all of humankind. We now turn our attention towards 2021 with a renewed sense of hope, and steadfast commitment to our stakeholders and our community.

Below is a letter and a request, which we understand not all members or partners are in a position to consider. Please know that we are humbly sharing this with the knowledge that many of our partners had a very difficult year; we also know that some did not have that experience, and may consider investing in the work of the Chamber & CVB in the form of a year-end gift to the Chamber Foundation. Whatever is comfortable for you, please know that it is just right.

The Tompkins Chamber Foundation is seeking your consideration for a year-end gift to the Support Visit Ithaca Campaign or to the Member Support Fund. We know that you have so many wonderful organizations to consider this time of year, but we hope that you see value in the work of the Tompkins Chamber and Visit Ithaca (Convention & Visitors Bureau or CVB) and their critical role in supporting the short and long-term economic recovery of our community.

The Chamber & CVB have been critical partners in economic recovery and reopening conversations, partnering with local governments and other organizations to deliver educational programming, resources to microenterprises, anchor storefronts, and more. Well over a thousand area businesses and organizations are served annually by the Chamber and CVB – and have particularly benefited from their support in the last nine months as we have navigated this public health and economic crisis together.

Both Chamber & CVB have experienced devastating COVID related budget impacts from numerous sourceswith a cumulative impact of well over $750,000 for just the 2020 fiscal year. They are expecting similar reductions in revenue for 2021. Yet through the last nine months and despite staff and expense reductions, the Chamber and CVB teams have continued to provide comprehensive factual information, critical communications, technical assistance, mobilized resources with partner organizations, and collaborated regularly with so many critical community partners so we can ensure we have the strongest response to our public health crisis, and a sustainable economic recovery.

Now and in the future, we need to know that Tompkins Chamber members and the CVB’s tourism partners alike will benefit from the support, referrals, resources, and economic impact the organization provides. If you find yourself in a position to consider a gift – or have need to reduce taxable income prior to the end of the year – we hope you will consider the Chamber and CVB, so they can continue their critical work of ensuring our local businesses can weather this storm – together.
Jennifer Tavares, CEcD
President & CEO
Peggy Coleman
VP Tourism, CVB Director
Rachel Hogancamp, Chairperson
Board of Trustees
Welcome Home Wednesday
Wednesday, January 6 | 5 - 6:15 p.m.

The Tompkins Chamber is inviting new residents to Live in Ithaca: Welcome Home Wednesdays virtual Happy Hour. New residents are encouraged to drop in anytime during the event - significant others and kids welcome!
  • Start 2021 off healthily with a focus on mindfulness and staying active this winter season with a Bodyworks demo from FLX Fit Club.
  • Additionally, learn about services, programs, and volunteer opportunities in the area.
  • Enjoy conversation with other residents who are new to the community and BYO light refreshments.
While the event is geared towards new residents, any resident who feels they would benefit from attending or introducing themselves to new members of our Community are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there, and welcome home!
Save the Date!
Fab5 Young Professional Awards
Thursday, March 4 | 6 - 7:30 p.m.

The Fab5 Awards celebrate the achievement of young professionals ages 21-40 in Tompkins County. This year, the Fab5 Committee is seeking young professionals who have been able to shine and excel despite the unprecedented challenges our community has faced.

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.

A sixth Essential Worker “Hero” award has been added this year to recognize a young professional who was considered “essential” by government officials to maintain public health and safety and keep critical infrastructure operations working when parts of the economy were shut down because of COVID-19.
Did You Miss Networking at Noon?
Year End Tax, Accounting, Legal, and Business Concerns Virtual Expert Panel
Our expert panel shared critical updates that will influence your year-end and early 2021 planning. Learn more about PPP provisions, succession and business entity planning, wage policy changes, sick leave, and more!

Quick Links to Key Changes for Most Employers:
New Coronavirus Relief Package Includes Support for Small Businesses, Childcare, Education, Vaccines, Transportation, Movie Theaters/Music Venues, and More
Congress Finally Fixes 501c6 Nonprofit PPP Issue

Changes/Fixes to PPP Rules: (detailed summary of changes from Forbes here)
  • PPP loans that are forgiven are deductible
  • New rules for seasonal businesses, new entities, multiple locations
  • Second loans for some eligible entities
  • 501c6 organizations included (Chambers, DMOs, trade associations)
  • Simplified applications for loans under $150,000

Additional Provisions of Interest/Local Impact:
  • Stimulus checks for households earning up to $99,000 in 2019; additional for those with children
  • $300/week supplemental unemployment benefits restored, including for the self-employed
  • $82 billion for schools and higher education
  • $45 billion for transportation
  • $38 billion for rental assistance and SNAP
  • $10 billion for childcare
  • $7 billion for broadband
  • $15 billion movie theaters, music venues, and cultural Institutions
The City of Ithaca Anchor Storefront Recovery Fund Invites Additional Loan Applications

Ithaca, NY – December 14, 2020 - In August of this year, a new COVID-19 recovery loan fund launched for ‘anchor’ storefronts in the City of Ithaca. The fund has provided low-cost economic development loans of between $8,000 and $50,000 to key commercial storefront businesses in the City, including restaurants and retail businesses. In light of the ongoing pandemic and additional funding, the Ithaca Anchor Storefront Recovery Fund is currently inviting additional loan applications. 

Some storefront businesses, because of the unique service that they provide, because of their longevity, because they draw people to the area, or simply because of their large footprint or critical location, carry particular importance to Ithaca’s economic recovery and positive community identity. The Ithaca Anchor Storefront Recovery Fund provides targeted loan assistance to help ensure that the recovery process proceeds successfully for “anchor” storefront businesses in the City of Ithaca, particularly as we enter a challenging post-holiday winter period amidst the ongoing pandemic.
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 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 job posting called "Workforce Redirect", intended to match job seekers with employers that are currently hiring.

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

Admin & Finance/Executive Committee
Tuesday, January 19th | 8 - 9:30 a.m.

Board of Directors
Wednesday, January 27th | 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 will be closed from December 24 through January 4th, to allow our team to take a well-earned break. Should you experience an emergency related to your business with us, contact Jennifer Tavares at 607-244-9026.