Grand Rapids Chamber – COVID Response Report

Grand Rapids Chamber - COVID Response Report

Dear Chamber Members, Business Leaders and Community Supporters,

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected businesses across every industry in a variety of ways. The West Michigan business community has stepped up to the challenge, as they have many times before. We have been proud to see the innovation and collaboration of our community highlighted in new ways as we all work through this together.

Companies quickly transitioned to remote work, offering many of their services virtually. Restaurants shifted to no-contact delivery and curbside pickup. Manufacturers started producing masks, gloves and PPE equipment. Breweries and distilleries, including New Holland Brewing Company, Atwater, and The Mitten, shifted their processes to produce hand sanitizer. Companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Horizon Bank, and Meijer made substantial donations to support our community’s vulnerable populations. And of course, our heroes in health care, transportation, grocery, and sanitation continued working the front lines.

As our team adjusted to life with COVID-19, our priorities, too, shifted. For the Grand Rapids Chamber, meeting this adversity meant springing into action, even if we were doing so remotely. Our team has fielded hundreds of calls, answering specific questions on everything from unemployment issues to PPE resources.

We have been working around the clock to advocate for a smart restart agenda, with key priorities including social districts and property tax deferment. We deployed the Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation to get financial assistance to small businesses, and have partnered with Kent County to quickly and efficiently distribute $25 million in grant funding received from the federal CARES Act.

The Grand Rapids Chamber proud to represent one of the most incredible business communities in the world. As we all work to overcome the challenges we face with COVID-19, we remain dedicated to fostering a thriving and prosperous West Michigan for all.

I am pleased to present the following report highlighting this work. We look forward to continue working together as we embark on a smart restart.



Rick Baker
President & CEO
Grand Rapids Chamber


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