The Frisco Chamber of Commerce announced that it will be “adopting” the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce and community as part of the TCCE/TAB Disaster Recovery Initiative. The goal of the “Adopt a Chamber/Community” program is to come alongside Texas hurricane affected chambers and assist them during the long-term recovery period, as well as engage community partners and local businesses to assist in meeting the needs of the impacted community. To date, Texas chambers of commerce and several out-of-state chambers have adopted 11 Texas chambers/communities along the coastline. Several of the hardest hit areas have been adopted by more than one chamber because the needs are immense. The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) also gave their own challenge to ACCE members across the country and an additional four non-Texas chambers have adopted Texas chambers as well.
The Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce building itself did not sustain damage; however, numerous businesses and homes in the area were flooded due to Hurricane Harvey. The Houston Northwest Chamber immediately became a valuable resource for the flooded community. The staff and volunteers began phoning member businesses that they believed to have incurred damage and began on working to determine their needs The website and social media accounts were up and running with resources, including an Emergency Resources Page with details on business requirements, flood recovery tips, and ways to get involved in donating and volunteering. In addition, the Houston Northwest Chamber revised its monthly Lunch-N-Learn to bring in a speaker from the SBA to provide disaster recovery resources.
“Because we have been through hurricanes and floods before, the Chamber staff and handful of volunteers were able to spring into action to provide resources and information to our business community,” said Barbara Thomason, President of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.
“Our ‘adoption’ of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce and Community has three key parts,” said Tony Felker, President and CEO of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce. “First, we ask our business community to support the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce so that they can continue to be a valuable resource for their business community. Second, we will ask the residents of Frisco and employees of our business community to donate to the Hurricane Harvey Business Relief Grant Fund for Northwest Harris County. And third, we would like to match similar Frisco businesses, churches, and schools with those in need in northwest Harris County.”
Frisco Businesses Supporting the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce
The Frisco Chamber is asking North Texas businesses to support the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce so that they can continue to be a valuable resource for their business community. As businesses incur the cost of the hurricane, such as physical damage and lost revenue, the membership revenue of the Houston Northwest Chamber will most likely suffer and decline.
“It will take a strong chamber of commerce to help hurricane-impacted business,” Felker said. “To offset the anticipated decline in revenue for the Houston Northwest Chamber, we ask our thriving Frisco business community to help by paying the average dues for one-half, a full, or multiple annual memberships for a Harris County business.” Their average membership dues of $500 per year were calculated by dividing the dues revenue by the number of current members of the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses can support the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce at FriscoChamber.com.
Frisco Community and Employees Can Help Community Rebuild
The Frisco community can help by donating money to the Hurricane Harvey Business Relief Grant Fund for Northwest Harris County. The Grant Fund, set up though the Houston Northwest Chamber Foundation, is intended to provide small grants to help with immediate business expenses related to business recovery for those businesses in northwest Harris County that experienced flooding damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Sadly, the SBA reports that after disasters, 40% of the businesses never reopen. The goal of both the Houston Northwest and Frisco chambers is to reduce that percentage measurably.
Matching Frisco Businesses with Northwest Harris County Businesses
As this adoption program progresses, another goal of the two chambers is to match similar Frisco businesses with like northwest Harris County businesses. “Imagine a flooded Houston church being taken under wing by a Frisco church, a tradesman helping a Houston tradesman, or a Frisco public or private school helping a flooded school,” Felker said, “the needs are great!”
More information and links to donations sites can be found atFriscoChamber.com.
About the Frisco Chamber of Commerce
The Frisco Chamber of Commerce is a 4-Star Accredited Chamber of Commerce that consists of more than 1,300 member businesses who provide goods and services to the growing, bustling economy in Frisco and the surrounding area. The mission of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce is to protect and promote commerce, through advocacy, resources, and connections. For more information, visit www.friscochamber.com.