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.

10 best business books written by women

From the desk of Hannah Stenzel of Godfrey Financial Associates, Inc.

At the time of writing, only three of the top 20 on Amazon’s business books bestseller list were authored by females

It’s no secret that the people we spend time with affect how we perceive the world around us. A piece of advice I hear frequently is to take a look at the 5 people you spend the most time with, and it will show you a lot about yourself. This idea is exciting to me because it means that we have the power to change our lives by getting to know people who inspire us. In everyday life, we don’t have access to highly successful people (I’ve tried to find Oprah’s phone number, but it’s unlisted). But what we can do is read about their lives and how they got to live their dreams.

I found this article to be a fresh list of successful women business owners, and I hope you find it as inspiring as I did. Read it here.

Meet the 2020 Women of Excellence Honorees

Please join us in congratulating this year’s Women of Excellence honorees!

Now in its 29th year, the Women of Excellence Awards Luncheon honors a select group of women for their success in business and their contributions to the community. Six women who have achieved success in their professional careers and dedicated themselves to community service will join the prestigious ranks of the Chamber’s Women of Excellence on Thursday, May 28.

You won’t want to miss this moving program, hosted by Benita Zahn, co-anchor for NewsChannel 13.

11:15 – 11:45 a.m. – Check-in and Networking
11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch and Program

Register for the event HERE!