JERSEY SHORE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ~
Although the COVID19 pandemic and subsequent quarantine has been hard on everyone, some of the hardest hit have been the small, local businesses of the Jersey Shore. Forced to close their doors and only conduct business online, our local mom and pop shops have struggled to survive amid the sudden drastic decrease of customers and uncertainty of when they can again open their doors, especially for the all-important, sometimes critical, summer season.
Evelyn Mars, Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce for the past 15 years, recognizes the need for a strong support system to help local businesses navigate through this crisis. With over 400 members throughout southern Monmouth County, the Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce has worked hard to stay active and support its members during these trying times.
Not simply a Chamber of Commerce, Evelyn sees the organization as a partner with business members, providing business development, helping to create marketing programs and campaigns and delivering support via print, social media posts, ads, email blasts, etc.
The Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce has now had to get creative during the pandemic. In lieu of the weekly “Coffee Connectors” meetings in person, meetings are now held via teleconference. Each virtual meeting still features a speaker and a sponsor from among the members of the chamber with a wide variety of expertise. Through these meetings with other business leaders, members are offered ideas and services to help them navigate through the challenges they face.
In keeping with one of Chamber’s core values of providing leadership, Evelyn and the JSCC Board of Directors reached out to Governor Murphy early during the quarantine to remind him of the importance of small businesses to the economy of the Jersey Shore and its interconnection to all sectors that make the Jersey Shore the prized destination it is – lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation, tourism, transportation and real estate. The Chamber reminded Governor Murphy that business closings and loss of income at the Jersey Shore will have crippling results and that small businesses can be trusted to open and observe the same safety precautions as larger businesses.
The JSCC has developed a marketing campaign with full page ads in The Coast Star to give a push to opening safely again. In the meantime, they work hard to promote and support our local businesses. Their social media efforts continue uninterrupted during the pandemic and Chamber events are beginning to be rescheduled with safety precautions in mind. The first live meeting, an outside breakfast, will be in July. A golf outing is planned for August and a rescheduled business expo, the largest in Monmouth County last year, is set for September.
The Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce’s mission to advance our region’s economy, enhance their members’ success and improve our quality of life is evident by their continued efforts to be a watchdog for all our local businesses, large and small, during this watershed moment. By supporting each other, sharing best practices and promoting the best the Jersey Shore has to offer, the Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce is doing all they can to guide local businesses to continued success not just through but past this turning point in the Shore’s storied history.
For more information on the Jersey Shore Chamber of Commerce, go to www.jerseyshorechambernj.com.