Community steps up to help local businesses

Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and a blogger are taking steps to protecting and preserving local businesses during coronavirus.

In a time of uncertainty for local businesses as coronavirus shutdowns are forced to continue, the Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and a local blogger are using their platforms to help them out.

GNPCC will be hosting virtual informative and networking sessions via Zoom. The first meeting on March 31 discussed human resources challenges in small businesses, and will feature Brian McLaughlin, Market Leader with My Benefit Advisor.

“Businesses need a support system now more than ever,” said Pam Henshall of GNPCC.

Another members-only webinar will be held April 2 at 9 a.m. and will feature a roundtable discussion of local businesses on navigating the current coronavirus situation and how to survive the next few months.

Meanwhile, local blogger Melissa Matos is creating a directory of local businesses selling gift cards that can be bought and used once the shutdown is lifted.

The growing directory of businesses can be found on Matos’s blog, Mom Toast. The idea is buying the gift cards now to continue giving local stores business, then cashing them in on “Freedom Day” as she calls it.

“Right now everything is so confined, so it’s a day where everyone can go out and enjoy it,” Matos said.

She’s also designed Freedom Day-themed T-shirts, with funds going toward the PHL COVID-19 fund, a citywide fundraiser to support local businesses.

Local businesses that want their information to be listed on the directory should contact Matos at MelissaMomToast@gmail.com or visit MomToast.com.