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The Chandler Chamber of Commerce: Evolving, Adapting, and Helping Local Companies

Article by Michelle Talsma Everson

Photography by Lindsay Borg

Originally published in Chandler Lifestyle

The Chandler Chamber of Commerce called the same familiar building on South Arizona Place home for 25 years. This past December, that changed. The organization moved into a standalone location in Downtown Chandler at 101 W. Commonwealth. The new building is just one of the many changes that have happened at the Chamber so that they can better serve area businesses and the community.

“The new Chamber location on Commonwealth was built by my father’s company,” shares Judge Jay Tibshraeny. “Those red brick buildings have stood the test of time, just like the Chandler Chamber.”

The Chandler Chamber (ChandlerChamber.com) has been promoting regional economic growth, advancing local business-friendly public policies, and supporting its members (local businesses of all sizes) through programs and services since 1912, explains its President and CEO, Terri Kimble. During the pandemic, it adapted as its members’ needs changed and business regulations shifted.

“When COVID-19 started, we really listened—and continue to listen—to what our members needed and still need as things change,” Kimble says. “We’ve continuously adapted to their needs.”

One of the ways the Chamber helped local businesses is through its ever-evolving business resource page. Especially when the pandemic began, the Chamber continuously updated the page with resources and help for local businesses, including non-members.

“We were one of the first Chambers in the state to do that,” Kimble says.

It also continuously promotes job openings on its webpage and social media, and is in constant communication with members and partner organizations to keep a pulse on what’s needed. There are free weekly virtual seminars that are open to all businesses on important topics, as well as industry-exclusive roundtable conversations via Zoom.

The Chamber has worked with elected officials to loosen the sign ordinances so that businesses could easily promote that they were still open, and worked on the best use outdoor spaces for merchandise or outdoor dining. There are also many programs and resources to promote and educate about diversity and inclusivity.

“Collaboration from Chandler businesses has been incredible,” Kimble says. “They’re not afraid to let us know what they need, and we aren’t afraid to help them find it.”

One example of this kind of support are the free “I Choose Chandler” PPE kits that are still available for local businesses. They contain masks, a hand sanitizer dispenser, and a gallon of hand sanitizer.

Now that 2021 is underway, Kimble says that the Chamber looks forward to continuing to support local businesses, whatever the needs may be.

“The Chamber is part of the culture in Chandler,” she says. “We are excited to be in this new building, have new branding planned, and will continue to be a resource for local businesses and the community. We are the go-to place for everything Chandler.”

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