by gina mintzer
The Lake George regional business community has endured the pandemic through tremendous collaboration, innovation and responsible outreach to neighbors, colleagues, clients, visitors, and the communities served throughout the region. Leveraging business, community, industry, and research partnerships has been key to the success of all our efforts.
The pivot came quickly for the Lake George Regional Chamber of Commerce as we rapidly abandoned traditional outward-facing sales and marketing efforts in those first few days. Lightning fast, we turned inward, racing to aid our local business community, turning our considerable expertise in marketing to communicating real-time information to those we serve.
By virtue of our skill in social media and close relationships with elected officials, industry and community partners, clients, and colleagues, we were able to help each survive based on needs, from development of safety best practices to navigating state and federal relief funds, to event postponement and cancellation. Throughout the pandemic and moving forward, safe, and responsible visitation, adhering to county, state and national recommendations has been and will continue to be, the overarching message and mission internally and externally.
So, in this tumultuous era when priorities are being re-examined, the Chamber has restructured to face the future and realize the full potential of community development. Efforts will continue to partner with every organization that is dedicated to building our sustainable, competitively successful destination as we all have a role in envisioning the future with COVID-19 impacts.
We will continue to play our part in the transformative process to positively affect our economic vitality. Our communities, neighborhoods and residents deserve no less.
Leveraging relationships and understanding the industry research and customer sentiments are the key ingredients that the Chamber is infusing in all activities to ensure current and future visitor and membership outreach, client bookings and regional visitation.
The outlook for 2021 is cautiously positive as we are now reliant on our neighbors to be more responsible than ever, adhering to CDC and state Health Department guidelines, restrictions and recommendations for overall health and well-being.
We foresee a first quarter slower than 2020, due mainly to the fact that the shutdown occurred in mid-March, and our region had been enjoying a healthy winter season (despite warm weather temps). We foresee a second quarter, along with tremendous coronavirus vaccinations opening our economy, while we focus on converting our new customers to the area into repeat visitors.
Overall, workforce development efforts will also be a key ingredient for our future economic sustainability and growth. Fortunately, our current public-private collaborative efforts are addressing this as a priority and just knowing that it is being discussed by smart, committed people, we are hopeful that our efforts will have positive lasting effects on our entire business climate.
Like many businesses, we continue operating as fiscally austere as possible. As a 501c6, we were not able to participate in the PPP program. That aspect is now available with this most recent stimulus program.
We furloughed some staff early in the pandemic and brought them back prudently. We continue to have some staff work remotely and restructured our overall marketing and operations as part of a nimble pivot, relying on industry trends, local research, and fiscal responsibility while adhering to local, state, and national safety protocols and recommendations.
All safety plans are still in place from daily health monitoring and office wipe-downs to guest contact tracing and documentation. We foresee these routines will continue and be as common as taking off your shoes to go through security at the airport. The organization currently employs 12 full and part-time seasonal staff.
by gina mintzer