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Following fourteen weeks of various stages of quarantine under the color-coded system of reopening, Montgomery County businesses entered the green phase on June 26th. This has not been without a great deal of pain and loss.  Many restaurants, retail stores and service providers have made the heart wrenching decision to close their doors afterin many cases enjoying some of their most successful years.

Despite these very challenging times, the business community is resilient and many sought ways to pivot and use their services to move forward. Members, Boardroom
Spirits and A to Z Party Rental are great examples. Once learning that hand sanitizer was in desperate short supply the team at Boardroom Spirits went into production.
Initially the community could bring their own containers for fill-up. There is now a sanitizer division with products available for purchase. A to Z Party Rental had been gearing up for the graduation, wedding and party season only for it to end in a dead stop.  The tents, tables and related supplies were instead sent to testing sites and even to
comfort families by having drive by funerals.

As an organization that brings businesses together for programs and events, The Chamber needed to quickly transition to become a reliable source for providing the
business community with information on loans, grants and the continually changing information regarding guidelines and reopening requirements. As a result of the
relevant and timely communication, members received over $325,000 of the $6million offered by the MontcoStrong Small Business Grant Program.

In addition, webinars on legal concerns, the Paycheck Protection Plan, marketing and networking opportunities were held. Members offered discounts on products and
needed services to assist others with reopening. We’re Open Again posters were created and distributed throughout the region to welcome customers back while assuring that the proper CDC guidelines were being followed.

The Chamber continues to be an advocate for the Montgomery County business community through providing support for several letters to state legislators as well as the
governors office to express member concerns. A program was presented with U.S.Representatives Dean and Fitzpatrick for a Washington update and Q&A session.

As the pandemic continues to impact our businesses and a full reopen date is not yet in sight, it is heartwarming to see the support offered to help those in need. The
Chamber will remain committed to keeping members informed and offer beneficial programming.