By Jim Giammarinaro
President & CEO of the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce
FRAMINGHAM – I would like to update you on happenings at our Chamber.
Despite the pandemic, our chamber is doing well. We are very fortunate.
We have experienced significant cash flow improvement over the past 2 years through the implementation of operating efficiencies. In addition, although 510c6 non-profit organizations were not eligible for PPP funding for the first round of stimulus, Congress corrected that error, and we were able to receive a forgivable loan in the second round. PPP loans are forgivable when you maintain your staff which we have been able to do.
In 2020 we added back TJX to our sponsorship group (Silver Sponsor) and picked up Waters Inc. for transportation support. These additions have helped offset a net reduction in small businesses and non-profits who have closed due to
the pandemic (the WBJ reports that 37% of small businesses have closed in Massachusetts since the start of the
Despite a net reduction in small business members, we were able to add over 100 new organizations to our chamber over the last two years. This may be due, in part, to the fact that we have continued, and added to, our services despite operating in a virtual format. Some chambers have had to limit their services due to staffing reductions and we have even seen chambers close permanently.
Our chamber is busier than ever as we have been able to adjust to functioning in a virtual environment.
We currently have 35 Board of Directors members (approaching the limit per our bylaws) and great BOD engagement with participation in many of our initiatives. Our BOD Vice Chairs lead teams in Public Policy, Large Business, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Small Business, Non-profits & Education. Any chamber member can participate on a team led by our Vice Chairs. We have added numerous initiatives/services over the past two years.
Below is a comprehensive list of what the MetroWest Chamber of Commerce offers: