Resiliency in a time of change

Resiliency in a time of change

It’s not news to you that 2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year for most in our region. The COVID-19 pandemic has radically changed how businesses operate internally and relate to their employees and customers.

And yet, the more things change the more they stay the same. 

When I talk with new and prospective members, I always ask why they want to join the Portland Business Alliance, Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce. I am curious to know what they hope to gain through their membership. The responses I’ve heard during the COVID-19 crisis are amazingly consistent with what was expressed prior to the outbreak. Even in this transformed economic climate, businesses are coming to the Alliance for the same core needs:

● To influence local, regional, and state public policy to encourage economic growth

● To stay informed on the rapidly changing news, regulations, and opportunities that shape their organization and industry

● To build connections in Portland--both for business development and to contribute to a better regional community

● To create visibility and raise awareness for their business

We are committed to supporting our members with these essential business needs--especially during this particularly difficult time. Like your organization, we’ve had to pivot to new ways of delivering these services during the pandemic. 

Along with the rest of the world, we transitioned our in-person meetings to a digital video conference platform. While the primary driver for this change was an effort to maintain social distance, it has had the added benefit of making these meetings more accessible than ever before. It has never been easier to participate in Alliance committees and play a role in issues that affect you and your businesses. 

Likewise, we’ve taken an open-access approach to our educational and networking events, making nearly all sessions free for members. Since the pandemic started, we’ve hosted 18 major digital events, for nearly 4,000 attendees. From our live-streamed Annual Meeting to COVID-19 Recovery Roundtable Series, to our online version of Building Business Connections, the goal of these events has remained the same: to help as many of our members stay as informed and connected as possible.

We’re also finding ways to create new value for our members. For instance, we recently partnered with The Oregonian/OregonLive to provide Alliance members access to (and additional perks to) their advertising grant program. As an Alliance member, you now qualify for up to $500 of in-kind advertising support on top of The Oregonian’s grant award. 

As we proceed through the slow economic recovery, the Alliance will continue to implement new ways to deliver value where our members need it most. We need your help in this process. Next month, we’ll be launching our 2020 membership survey to measure and better understand how we can best serve you. Your feedback is crucial. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you have thoughts you’d like to share, please feel free to reach out to me and the Alliance membership team at [email protected]. We’re here to support you and your organization.