Better Together: How the Pueblo Chamber Offers a Helping Hand
Pueblo Chamber works to assist businesses during pandemic.
Along with other chambers and organizations throughout the community, the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce has been doing its best to help struggling area businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Perhaps most important, the chamber is involved with a Pueblo Business Economic Recovery Team, or BERT, a collaboration between local government, chambers of commerce and economic development-focused agencies that have come together to develop resources and update retail and restaurant customers via e-blasts and social media platforms. In addition, the Pueblo Chamber and various BERT subcommittees continue to connect businesses to resources that assist in areas such as financial assistance, marketing and management consulting.
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A helpful website called SupportingPueblo.com/ BERT is filled with important information, including a Business Resource Guide with resources for businesses on a national, state and local level.
Some of the options include a Small Business Administration paycheck protection program, SBA debt relief, ways to lower business insurance costs, help from community banks and much more.
"The COVID pandemic has caused untold economic hardship but has also inspired us to work harder together," says Donielle Kitzman, vice president of Visit Pueblo and the Convention & Visitors Bureau. "We are proud to be part of such a collaborative effort to provide resources and support to our business community."
We Will Help as Long as it Takes
Early in the shutdown, the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce took the lead on creating a weekly media update featuring all Pueblo restaurants that were open for business. The chamber encouraged the community to help update the list and encouraged restaurants to update their hours and status as changes occurred.
"The chamber staff also made personal calls to all members to help direct businesses to the appropriate COVID resources needed," Kitzman says.
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Along with the BERT team, Kitzman says the Pueblo Chamber is now focused on using a state-authorized Five Star Program variance that would help businesses increase capacity past their current restrictions by agreeing to increased safety protocols.
"Unfortunately, we know the effects of the pandemic are going to last through 2021 and beyond," she says. "The recovery period is going to take years, but the BERT team is committed to supporting our businesses as long as it takes."
If you'd like to learn more about the Pueblo, CO area, check out the latest edition of Livability Pueblo, CO.