By Audrey Stratton | Local Happenings
The Portsmouth Area Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1920. It is run by a Board of Directors while the programs and office staff are managed by the director, Lisa Carver.
It is made up of about 450 due-paying members. The dues are based off of the number of employees that they have. Memberships are open to anyone who has a business interest within the Portsmouth area (they stress area because they have members in surrounding counties as well as in Greenup Co, KY.)
Their mission is to promote business and unify efforts to enhance economic and community development. They keep a clear vision to influence the direction and future of a community where our local businesses flourish, our residents thrive, and our visitors are inspired by our exceptional quality of life.
Since COVID has taken over, the Chamber has been closed to the public. Despite this challenge, they have overcome this setback and have continued to serve their members. Since the main function of the Chamber is to bring people together, they had to get creative.
All of their programs have been continued virtually including monthly Hour of Power and Leadership Portsmouth. The board has continued to meet via ZOOM, and for several weeks now have hosted a weekly update via ZOOM to educate the public/businesses on the available resources.
They have continually been providing resources about staying safe, SBA loans, and now the reopening phases. They have also been a resource for those looking for personal protective equipment.
In order to inspire and support businesses that have had to shut down during COVID, they have promoted “Ribbon Tying Ceremonies” in order to symbolize the community being tied together again.
Recently, they have been planning for the future and have outlined some plans. These would include: to provide value to Chamber members through education, support, and inclusion.
They want to promote positive public awareness and attitude toward business and community; increase visibility and relevance of the Chamber; improve effectiveness and efficiency in carrying out Chamber business.
Local Happenings had partnered with the Chamber in efforts to support the local restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have been a great resource and support to us during our endeavor.