The Indian River County Chamber of Commerce, based in Vero Beach, FL, is a countywide business organization with more than 700 members. We are also the primary Economic Development Organization (EDO) and Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) for tourism.
About 95% of our local businesses are considered small businesses, most with less than 50 employees. Because our local residents took such a big hit from the COVID-19 pandemic, we encourage residents to support them through social media campaigns: Weekly “Take Out Tuesdays” and “What’s For Dinner Fridays,” with a link to the restaurant’s website and our Chamber website that provides a list of all restaurants in our county. We are also using our GIS-based website, www.indianriversites.com, to highlight restaurants and, now, all of our Chamber members, with contact info and pinpointing their locations on a Google map. Soon, we’ll include all local businesses on the site – all provided at no charge to the business owner.
As a membership-based organization, we continue to reach out to our Chamber members, providing relevant info to help them keep the doors open. We started another social media campaign, with signs that say “IRChamber ♥ Our Members – #IRC Strong.” We place the sign in front of the business location, take a photo, and post a collage of photos on Facebook and Instagram weekly.
Early on during the crisis, we reached out to our local manufacturers, asking for help in providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to our healthcare workers. Immediately, many stepped up! Piper Aircraft, our largest private employer, is making and donating plastic face masks and, now, cotton masks for Cleveland Clinic Indian River Hospital. Other much smaller manufacturers also offered to help: Novurania, which makes high-end yacht tenders, is making cotton face masks; iOneMoto, which makes protective gear for the motocross industry, is making surgical gowns; Triton Submarines, which makes personal submersibles and is proficient with breathing apparatus, partnered with a customer to make ventilators — and we didn’t have to ask twice!
And, of course, we keep current info on our Chamber website and Economic Development website regarding resources to assist our businesses, along with info to help our residents file unemployment claims.
Submitted by the Indian River County Chamber of Commerce.
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