COVID-19 Resources

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With the rapidly changing situation surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19) and, most specifically, its implications for business, the Capital Region Chamber is committed to keeping you informed, sharing resources for managing the situation and, as importantly, soliciting your ongoing feedback.

**Send us your best practices and/or tips to share with other members to**

We also encourage you to visit our resource and information page, which is being updated daily with links to local, state and federal resources along with timely and relevant webinars being offered by our members.…/

Please share this post so as many people as possible have the information they need! #CapitalRegionUnited

The Food Pantries for the Capital District’s Response to COVID-19

From the desk of Matt Shaughnessy, Director of Development & Marketing at The Food Pantries of the Capital District

As essential services, local food pantries are open and anticipating a further increase in demand. The Food Pantries for the Capital District are #here2help!

How we help:

  1. Food funding allocations for more than 65 local food pantries
  2. Food delivery at no cost to local food pantries
  3. Our Food Access Referral Line will connect you to your nearest food pantry if you need help right now (518-458-1167 x108)

Given unprecedented times, #TheFoodPantries is working diligently to ensure that our local food pantries are prepared in the face of circumstances threatening our most vulnerable neighbors.

How to join us:

  • Cash contributions — rather than donating cans or dried goods — can more efficiently shore up food stocks.  To donate, you can text endhungerTFP to 41444.  Or, visit our website here:
  • We are accepting individuals and groups looking to support our work via volunteering. Our local food pantries are in danger of losing many of their at-risk volunteers and can use your help. To get involved contact us at 518-458-1167 x104 or fill out this volunteer application:

Thank you for making a #localimpact and doing what you can to feed the hungry in this moment. We value our relationship with the Capital Region Chamber of Commerce and the Women’s Business Council.
#doingmoretogether #localimpact #thefoodpantries

Support The Food Pantries During COVID-19

From the desk of Natasha Pernicka, Executive Director of The Food Pantries of the Capital District.

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As you know, today we should have been coming together to learn from past Women of Excellence awardees on perseverance. Instead, we are all faced with many unknowns. Given unprecedented times, The Food Pantries for the Capital District is working diligently to ensure that our local food pantries are prepared in the face of circumstances that are devastating to our most vulnerable community members.

Do you know someone who is in need of food/hygiene products/diapers/formula?

The Food Pantries is dedicated to keeping our Food Access Referral Line open to provide the most up-to-date resource information for local food pantries and food access (schools/pop-up food drops) programs for those seeking assistance. Call 518-458-1167 extension 108 for a referral.

Distributing millions of pounds of food and monetary resources annually, The Food Pantries is a critical lifeline to our network of more than 65 Capital Region food pantries. Service coordination and information sharing are key to our most vulnerable community members accessing food at this point. We are prioritizing our food delivery, service coordination, and food access referral line at this critical juncture.

We are fully committed to keeping our local food pantries stocked and providing the most up to date information about food access resources to those in need. Working together we can do more than anyone of us alone. In this uncertain time, we would be so grateful for the support of the WBC. And you can be certain that your support will make a difference right here, right now, in our capital region neighborhoods. You can make a gift online or text “endhungerTFP” to 41444

On behalf of our food pantries, the 65,000 people they serve, and those who for the first time may need to turn to food pantries for help – thank you for helping us feed the hungry during this crisis.

5 Things: Entrepreneur Boot Camp

From the desk of Karen Lombardo, Owner Put Another Way

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Share your business intellectual wealth.

One of the most rewarding things a business owner can do is to share the knowledge they have gained with new business owners. The Capital Region Chamber conducts an annual Entrepreneur Boot Camp. The Entrepreneur Boot Camp is an award-winning 60-hour intensive training program that guides would-be entrepreneurs and existing businesses through the step-by-step process of starting, operating, and managing a business. The program is held two nights per week over the course of 12 weeks.

Each session features business experts addressing topics critical to the growth of successful enterprises including accounting, legal, market research, real estate, taxes, insurance, payroll, cash flow, marketing, social media and more. I was fortunate to be asked to speak with this group of excited entrepreneurs about marketing, websites, and content. It was a blast!

The experience reminded me of starting my own business and the people who helped me along with the way. Experts in their field and willing to share their business intellectual wealth with a newbie like me.

So, here are 5 things you can do to help our community’s would-be entrepreneurs:

  • Volunteer. Offer up your expertise in a setting like the Entrepreneur Boot Camp. You know so much more than you think you do, and the beginner business owner is very much in need of that knowledge.
  • Be present. If you say, ‘call me,’ then be available when they do reach out. They know you are busy and believe me, they are so flexible and hungry for your help and knowledge.
  • Be mindful. They are starting out, and their finances and experiences are both in their infancy. Look for options for them that are free or at a low cost. For example, email marketing tools, website hosting, and time management tools.
  • Don’t be scary! Sharing horror stories is different than sharing ‘be aware’ stories. Share your fall downs and pick backups. There is value there!
  • Encourage and empathize. You see them driving at 100 mph towards a brick wall, but you can stop them you know? Tell them you have been there and how you managed it. The decision is theirs, of course, but a little story sharing cannot hurt.

The Chamber along with the WBC 2020 Adopted Nonprofit offers a wide range of volunteer opportunities. 

To learn more, about the Entrepreneur Boot Camp e-mail Laura Mann or call 518.431.1430 to learn more.

Building a Culture of Success

From the desk of Sharon A. Burnstein, President and CEO, Sharon Burnstein International

Here’s a question for you. How would you describe the business culture of your company or organization? Business culture affects internal and external success. Many of you reading this may not even know your business’ culture. This is something vital and yet is often a guarded secret or so unknown that it causes eyes to glaze over.

The culture of a company combines, its communication, collaboration and innovation. It begins with a company mission statement. Should your company not have one, stop right here and work to create one (20 words or less). Your mission is a declaration of your vision, values, and who you are.

Look at successful companies and you will most often find a strong, transparent culture, that everyone knows. It is a first step to building effective teams. Look at the growth of a company and you find a direct correlation to business growth, employee, engagement, employee retention, job satisfaction and work performance.

As you grow your company and department, remember it is not just the skill sets you are looking to fill, it is about how people fit into your company culture, values and visions. Are they dedicated? Are they team players? Do they know and understand your company mission?

Associates in any organization enjoy working in a culture they believe in, respect and trust. Share your visions for now and the future. Looking to build greater success? Begin with a strong company culture at the forefront of where you are today and your visions for tomorrow.

International Women’s Day 2020: Insights And Inspiration From Women Leading The Way

Forbes writer, Moira Forbes writes, “Who inspires today’s most powerful women? As we strive for success in the decade ahead, the community of role models and collaborators around us can be instrumental in shaping new thinking, unlocking opportunity and closing the gap between ambition and reality. 

“On this International Women’s Day, I asked five female leaders who inspire me to share the entrepreneurs and changemakers who’ve been a motivating force in their own lives. Watch Zola’s Shan-Lyn Ma, Holly Ridings of NASA, SAP’s Jennifer Morgan and Katherine Ryder of Maven recount the wisdom they’ve gained from women they admire most, and remind us that when we lift each other, we lift all.”

Click here to watch the quick one minute video.

Happiness and Leadership

From the desk of Sharon Burstein, President and CEO, Sharon Burstein International

Are you a happy person? Do you enjoy being happy and being around happy people?

Happiness is a choice. When you are happy and take care of yourself the more joyful life is!

Think and respond to yourself about the questions below.

Are you happy?

What makes you happy?

What makes YOU great!

What makes you successful?

Here is a question for you.

Does success bring happiness or does happiness bring success? What are your thoughts? Happiness brings about greater opportunity and possibility for success.

Did you know that happy people are more successful across the board of  all aspects of life?

Here is your -21 Day Happiness Expansion plan

Think of 3 Things every day that will grow you, your happiness and success.

            1. 3 things you are grateful for

            2. 10 minutes of exercise every day

            3. 1 or more acts of kindness

Your goal –  To build a happy you. When you are happy you build greater success and happier teams in your career and life. Studies show that happy people are more than 33% effective.

Training your brain is like going to the gym to train your muscles. Your mind will do as you think! It is the Law of Attraction.