Buzz & Bulletin

Learn more about our Voice of Business committees

All Voice of Business committees meet monthly as a group. Group meetings consist of speakers or discussions around a theme, as well as updates from the taskforce leaders about ongoing projects.

The specific Taskforces meet at least once a month, and sometimes more depending on the task at hand. Meetings have all been conducted via Zoom and will remain virtual until otherwise indicated.

These committees are open to all members. Contact Emma to join a committee at [email protected].

Small Business Advisory Council

Dedicated to providing advocacy and support to our small business members as we plan for growth and economic recovery.

Meetings: 1st Wednesday of the month

Taskforce Groups:

  • Research – Identify the needs and manage resources for small businesses
  • Promotion – Marketing and awareness of small businesses within the community
  • Connection – Supporting small businesses with resources and one-on-one communication

Projects in 2020 and ongoing:

  • Sent survey to small business owners to gain insight into what resources and support they need.
  • Used these results to create a promotional video campaign highlighting 11 small businesses. Raised sponsorships to cover the cost of the videos and promoting them on social media.
  • Created a resource document and list of organizations providing discounted services for small businesses in need.
  • Reached out to small businesses and connected them with the resources they need.
  • Created the Small Business Roundtable monthly event, which consists of facilitators leading small discussion groups about challenges that business executives are facing.

Don’t just take our word for it

“There is a saying ‘To be successful, you must surround yourself with successful people.’ If you want to be positive and have a positive outlook, surround yourself with positive people. Those positive influencers are right here within the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. With that, I also wanted to be a part of the Small Business Advisory Committee. Even though I have always worked for companies I do not personally own, I treat that business (and in this case TBK Bank), as my own business. I want success for my company. I want success for myself and our team. I want success for other business owners and if there is someone I know, that can help another business, I want to help! I am very thankful for the connections I have made through the Chamber & EDC and am very happy to continue supporting the chamber as much as I can.” – April O’Neil, vice president senior relationship manager, TBK Bank

I signed up as a member of the Small Business Advisory Council hoping to improve local small businesses that were being affected by COVID, the shutdowns, and generally needed to connect to the community in which they serve. But I gained a considerable amount more.
The businesses that we were able to work one on one, or, often two on one with learned how to transform their businesses, specifically for their own niche. Many learned “free” strategies that they were able to apply, from payroll and tax issues to a full-blown marketing campaign. Many business owners were able to connect with marketing strategist that assisted with pivot their business models and learned how to use content to engage web visitors and get them on email lists, creating an opportunity to sell their Point of Sales services (which is not a quick buying decision).

The SBAC helped business owners increase both calls and leads coming through the web or other digital forms. Each member of the council helped local businesses with the struggles and networking abilities, that normally would not have been hampered, which I’m sure will further help grow local businesses. I can’t speak highly enough about the Chamber & EDC’s ability to create ways of helping our local businesses and economy to survive this pandemic. – Thasha McVey, corporate sponsorship representative, KCME

Diversity in the Workplace Committee

To build a strong and inclusive business climate by empowering diverse talent, as well as connecting the community with education and events.

Meetings: Fourth Wednesday of the month

Taskforce Groups:

  • Communications – Engagement of diverse populations and employers
  • Mentorship / Building Diverse Leadership Pool – Diversify board leadership and connect minority businesses with resources
  • Events – Collaborate on and coordinate DE&I business-related events
  • Resource Clearinghouse – Identify and manage DE&I resources for businesses

Ongoing Projects

  • Planning a focus group session to find out what diversity resources that businesses are looking for currently.
  • Reaching out to Chamber members that have received scholarships to find out how the Chamber & EDC can better serve them.
  • Identifying requirements for community Board appointments and creating a directory with this information
  • Partnering with other organizations on DE&I events
  • Creating relevant events to better promote DE&I in the workplace

Don’t just take our word for it

“I joined this committee not because I had the answers to solving DE&I challenges, but because I know finding the answers is imperative to our community. I joined to support my peers and fellow industry members. I join to be an access point and an includer for those who struggle with a sense of belonging in our community. I look forward to learning a lot along the way.” – Stephanie Adams, director, UCCS Downtown

Franchise Focus Committee

Create education and support resources for franchise owners, public awareness around the franchising model, and inform our legislative strategy.

Meetings: 3rd Monday of the month

What we did in 2020:

  • Created the “How to be a Successful Franchise Owner” virtual event which was viewed by over 170 people
  • Listened to speakers on ballot issues, unforeseen impacts of the PPP loans, and a franchise consultant
  • Talked through the challenges and solutions of owning a franchise as a group
  • Learned about each franchisee and traded leads when appropriate

Don’t just take our word for it

“I am a fairly new business owner, having been in business a little over one year. I am a Franchise owner, and as a member of the Franchise Focus Group I have learned tons about the various services the Chamber of Commerce offers to the businesses and residents of Colorado Springs. With this particular group I have received referrals for business, information about challenges and successes of other Franchise businesses, and discussed with various Franchise owners what the Chamber can do to assist in the success of the thousands of Franchise owners in Colorado Springs. Like many people, I had limited knowledge of the high percentage of businesses that are actually Franchises. During our discussions we have found that the general public has some misconceived ideas about the Franchise industry and this group is tasked to help our residents understand the Franchise concept, and the importance these businesses have in growing and supporting our community.” Lorraine Willey, owner, Floor Coverings International

“I moved back to Colorado from Michigan this July, purchasing a new window treatment franchise called Gotcha Covered of Colorado Springs. Understanding that Chamber & EDC membership can be very beneficial, I immediately joined the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Center (CSCEDC). I soon learned that the CSCEDC offered a Franchise Focus Group, and I began participating right away.

At my second focus group meeting, I asked for advice dealing with rapid growth and related capacity/bandwidth issues, and I received the great suggestion to connect with the UCCS College of Business and discuss utilizing student interns. Chamber & EDC staff made introductions to the right people and we were off and running! An unintended outcome of the connection was that I was invited to participate in the business school’s mentorship program, so I also now have the opportunity to help students transition from their educations to careers. How cool!” – Barry Brown, owner and design consultant, Gotcha Covered of Colorado Springs

“Franchisees – I’m calling you out! As a franchisee myself and local franchise broker, I see franchisees try to go it alone all too often. Now, you don’t have to be in your franchise without some local community support.

The Franchise Focus Group recently formed to give that local support to a segment that doesn’t always get much thought – the franchise industry. Franchisees need local support just like other non-franchised businesses. Your franchisor can give you operational support, but if they are not in the local area, they may not understand the nuances of the Colorado Springs community. Join the Franchise Focus Group to get monthly updates on what is going on locally and nationally in franchising, and to meet other franchisees in different businesses.

Franchises operate in unique and special ways and having ideas from other franchisees can give a mental boost to you and your business. Join us for our monthly Zoom calls!” – Cindy Rayfield, owner, Franchise Matchmakers

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