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  • Writer's pictureOrange Chamber of Commerc

May 27 Chamber Chatter

On behalf of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce Staff and our Board of Directors, we would like to thank you for your support over the last year. We understand the impact of COVID-19 on our local business community and the challenges this poses for you as your investment renewal date may be approaching. To provide relief during this challenging time, we can extend your renewal date if needed.

Your continued commitment to the Chamber enables us to:

  • Stimulate the local economy through programs, events, and services that spotlight area business, promote business activities, and encourage entrepreneurs;

  • Advocate for business by building positive relationship with local, state, and federal elected officials to promote a pro-business climate and adopt positions to influence public policy;

  • During this COVID-19 crisis we publish information on what the state and federal government are doing to help your business like how to apply for grants, loans, and unemployment.

  • It is important that the Chamber stay operational during this trying time so to help your business now and during the recovery period.

If you have any questions or to further discuss your chamber investment, please reach out to me. For future updates about the impact of COVOD-19 on chamber operations and events, keep an eye on our website

Thank you for your continued support of the Orange County Chamber of Commerce. We look forward to serving you in the coming year, and please let us know what we can do to help your business weather this trying time.

Sincerely Yours,

Donald A. Vizi

Executive Director

Orange County Chamber of Commerce


Chamber Member Spotlight

Germanna Community College

Germanna is one of the twenty-three community colleges in Virginia that comprise the Virginia Community College System. It is a two year public institution of higher education established in 1970. As a comprehensive community college, Germanna provides quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities for the residents of the City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania and Stafford. The College is governed by policies set by the State Board for Community Colleges with support and advice from the Germanna Community College Board. Primary funding for the College is provided by the state, supplemented by contributions from seven counties and one city and by student tuition. Mission Statement As a public, comprehensive community college, Germanna provides accessible, high quality educational and training opportunities that address our communities diverse and changing learning needs. Accreditation

Important information Primary Phone Number (540) 891 – 3000 Primary Mailing Address P.O. Box 1430 Locust Grove, VA 22508-1430 Our Locations Fredericksburg Area Campus


Virginia SBDC Business Reopening Plan With the decision to reopen made, a detailed plan must be in place to account for the current situation. Because of the changes COVID-19 has brought about, it is important to not only think about reopening your business, but how to reimagine your business. Begin by reviewing the questions below and then the topic-specific resources. Is attempting to reopen without any changes possible? If not, what will need to change?Have you familiarized yourself with health/governmental COVID reopening regulations? Do you have well-articulated protocols to keep your staff and customers safe? Have you developed your reopening plan that reflects the current situation? Will you need to reopen in phases – ramping up staffing, inventory, etc.? Have you developed a timeline? Are your inventory, supplies, and equipment adequate? Do you have a sufficient, resilient supply chain in place to operate? Do you need to cancel/postpone current orders or delay purchasing new supply/inventory? Can you get better terms on previous/new orders?Will you be able to provide adequate staffing when you reopen? Will they be properly trained on current safety and health requirements?If other businesses in your area have closed, have you determined how that may impact you?Given the change in market conditions, does your business still need a physical location? Do you have an online presence in addition to a physical location?Is the size of your facility too large or small given the future potential of the business? What changed will you have to make to your physical location in order to open?

Below is a list of government reopening links: Virginia Governor's Office - Forward Virginia Guidelines: Physical Distancing, Cleaning, and Workplace Safety Best Practices

Virginia Governor's Office - Forward Virginia Phase 1 (5/8): Details on what can open and at what capacity.

Below is a list of reopening best practices: Mask Friendly Reopening Webinar

America's SBDC has a robust clearinghouse of health and safety-related resources Greetings – as Virginia businesses and communities look forward to safely reopen, the Virginia SBDC network, and your local SBDC, have developed the Business Recovery webpage to help owners carefully plan for and execute their businesses’ new strategy. These detailed guidelines cover a broad range of critical considerations. While business owners can use them by themselves, they were designed to ideally be used in collaboration with an expert business consultant in your local SBDC.

Reopening a business under current circumstances requires owners to make a careful analysis of the current situation, their capabilities, and goals. They must recognize how the market and customer has changed- the same applies to businesses that were able to continue operations. Additionally, businesses will need to calculate the new operating costs they’ll incur with additional safety measures. It might also necessitate owners to re-imagine their business concept.

The Virginia SBDC’s consultations have a solid track record of helping business owners through such considerations. SBDCs also have contacts in the local area that can help businesses make opportune connections.

Please share the Business Recovery resources with your businesses as your communities prepare to safely reopen in the coming weeks and months.


REC DYI Projects to Save Money

The Director of Communications and Public Relations for Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Casey Hollins told us that it’s the perfect time to tackle a few DIY energy efficiency projects for your home. The good news: You don’t have to be an energy expert to do this! Here are three easy DIY projects you can do now to start saving. Make the Most of Your Water Heater.

She started with one of the easiest projects: insulating your water heater. Insulating a water heater that’s warm to the touch can save 7 -16% annually on your water heating bills. It should also be noted that if your water heater is new, it is likely already insulated. But if your water heater is warm to the touch, it needs additional insulation. Casey explained how to do that.Seal Air Leaks with Caulk.

The average American family spends $2,000 annually on energy bills, but unfortunately, much of that money is wasted through air leaks in the home. Applying caulk around windows, doors, electrical wiring and plumbing can save energy and money. Casey explained the different types of caulking and walked us through the application process.Weather Strip Exterior Doors. One of the best ways to seal air leaks is to weather strip exterior doors, which can keep out drafts and help you control energy costs. Weather stripping materials vary, but you can ask your local hardware or home store for assistance if you’re unsure about the supplies you need. Casey walked us through the application process and gave us some tips for choosing the most effective material dependent on the door. Click here to visit Rappahannock Electric Cooperative’s website for more energy saving tips.



Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned When our logo is on your door, your commitment to clean is clear. While the COVID-19 pandemic has changed what it means to be clean, SERVPRO is here to help keep your customers and employees safe, and also let everyone know you've chosen a higher standard of clean. Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive, proactive viral pathogen cleaning program backed by our more than 50 years of experience in cleanup and restoration. With an industry-leading, proprietary training program, cleaning solutions, and remediation processes, we're helping businesses across the country open safely. So make the commitment to keep your employees and customers safer. Make sure your space is Certified SERVPRO Cleaned. CONSULT A tailored cleaning program to meet your needs. We will assign you a Cleaning Protocol Specialist who understands your business. Programs are based on a range of factors: type of industry, business type, size of space, amount of high frequency touch points, foot traffic and congestion points. CLEAN Proactive and COVID-19 emergency response cleaning program. Trained and experienced in biohazard cleaning and decontamination for porous and non-porous surfaces - always adhering to the highest standards set by the CDC. EPA-approved products, including our proprietary cleaning agent ServprOXIDE, a hospital-grade disinfectant that is NSF certified for direct food contact surface use. CERTIFY A commitment to clean for your employees and consumers. Leverage SERVPRO's trusted brand to reassure your customers and employees that you are taking the steps needed to keep your space at the highest level of clean. Communication touchpoints include a Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned window emblem, signage, marks for your digital footprint and more. SERVPRO of Louisa, Orange & Madison County P:(540) 513-3111 199 N. Madison Road Orange, VA 22960



James Madison's Montpelier

Explore nature in a whole new way!

Forge for mushrooms, gain an appreciation for pollinators and explore the science of the changing leaves with Montpelier’s virtual hiking series!

Three different programs all designed to get you excited about the wonders and science of nature.

Next Event: May 30, 2020 | 10 AM

Free/members of Montpelier; $10/nonmembers

Join Montpelier's horticulture team and the Virginia Master Naturalists for three separate virtual adventures!



We will be working from home so please submit via email any information you would like our membership to know about your business during this time.


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