By Rebecca Adcock
It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change. –Charles Darwin
May was a month of making changes and adapting, as we worked with each new ease of restrictions and finding how to work within the parameters. We are all adapting to the ever changing “the new normal” and will have to continue to adapt and manage change to stay relevant and solid in our businesses, schools, and home life.
Employers will continue to have to find new and creative ways of helping their employees with childcare, physical and mental health. We have adapted and seen how our logistic structure is not compatible with handling a quick en masse usage.
We have all managed new ways of communicating with Zoom, google meet up, Microsoft teams, and whatever other platform you use to stay connected with your workers. Personally, the usage of Zoom has allowed the chamber to work on new partnerships with other organizations that will help our county. While the restrictions were met with groans and moans, our businesses were intelligent and able to pivot to find new ways of working within the restrictions. Some ways have been very fruitful for them and will continue.
We all took Darwin’s quote to heart, not necessarily by being the strongest, but by being diligent and working to create the best possible solution to meet the demands of either our work, home, or play. Appalachian mountain people are always resourceful and can find ways of doing something better, which is why as a county and region we fared better during the pandemic than other areas.
The chamber also adapted, from being an event organization to helping make sure our businesses were aware of the restrictions, guidelines, and financial assistance available. Our Zoom Grant Writing workshop was a big hit, and we look forward to providing those Lunch and Learn workshops on the third Wednesday of every month at noon via Zoom for the remainder of 2021.
Our next topic is “Marketing in Patrick County — How Best to Get the Word Out.” The Chamber is wrapping up the class portion of the PCVA Business Builders. We have six potential businesses who will be “pitching” their businesses at the end of the month for funding. We have also been busy zooming by attending the Women Impact Virginia workshop this month that focused on Tourism and Hospitality, working to connect the region with entrepreneurial. We also engaged the West Piedmont Planning District in discussions regarding childcare and housing needs for the county.
Two big, exciting things are the Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design and the maps. The Citizen’s Institute for Rural Design awarded the Chamber, and their team, a seat in the learning cohort program. This program will help us learn technical assistance, design, and community engagement for our area. The other big, exciting news is our quick reference maps, we collaborated in part with Virginia Tourism, have finally arrived. We are getting the maps out in the county to various places, but please feel free to come by the office and pick up some.
We will be looking at the information obtained in the Workforce and Chamber services survey so that we can better offer programming for our businesses in the coming months and to finish out the second half of 2021.
Plenty of events are coming up in June, The First Friday Summer Jams at the Stuart Farmers’ Market is starting, the Beach Music Fest, and the Stuart Farmers’ Market on Friday mornings continues. Sign up for the Chamber newsletter on our website or Facebook so you know about all the events happening. And, if you have an event, please message us at the Chamber so that we can add your event to our events calendar.
New businesses to join are Devine Designs, Legacy Wellness, Total Fitness, and Stuart Forest Products.