2020 has been a year unlike any other. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically impacted our business community, and we continue to work hard to recover.
Early in the pandemic, the Temple Chamber of Commerce recognized that we had a vital role in helping our community through the crisis. Our focus has been on providing as many resources as possible to support our region’s business community and serve as an information provider.
The strength of the Temple Chamber of Commerce is not any particular program or event, but rather comes from the network we have built over our 113-year history. We are the hub of a vast network that includes local businesses, all levels of government, state and national business associations, local organizations, schools, and more.
This strength came to the forefront with the turmoil of 2020. The Temple Chamber was in a position to help many local businesses by serving as a mouthpiece for the information that was coming in quickly from our network. This led to the creation of the Temple Strong initiative, a comprehensive webpage that serves as a one-stop experience for businesses seeking the latest information regarding COVID-19, and a multitude of COVID-19 specific email communications beginning in April 2020.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce is a membership-driven organization where businesses pay dues to become members, and those members get plugged into the Chamber network. However, the economic vitality of our community can only be maintained with a positive business climate, so the information that was shared was not limited to only member businesses. We had information coming in from the state, our U.S. Senators and Representatives offices, as well as from County and City officials. Everyone needed help, and the Temple Chamber of Commerce was there to help.
With continuing uncertainty and state-mandated closures or occupancy restrictions, the Temple Chamber of Commerce created a space on social media for local businesses to inform a larger audience about their operations and offerings. Two Facebook groups, Temple Strong: Takeout, Curbside, and Delivery Options and Temple Strong: Open for Business, were created.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce also tapped into our network to provide a morale boost to front-line workers. The U.S. Army Salute Heroes fly over in May 2020 resulted from our outreach to Congressman John Carter and III Corps/Fort Hood. Blackhawk and Chinook Helicopters from 1st Air Cav Brigade/1st Cavalry Division/Fort Hood flew over health care facilities in Temple, Belton, Georgetown, Round Rock, Cedar Park, Harker Heights, Gatesville, Copperas Cove, and Killeen.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce refused to be deterred by the setbacks brought forth by the pandemic. The majority of in-person events shifted to a virtual environment. We provided over 20 virtual programs and have reached more than 1,500 participants.
The 36th Annual Military Appreciation Luncheon was reimagined into lunch to go and a virtual presentation. This new platform also allowed us to recognize first responders and front-line workers. We safely served 2,000 to-go meals to show appreciation to those who have and continue to give so much. We were also able to shift our annual Spirit of Santa Fe Wine Festival into a two-week trail that celebrated local craft beverages, wines, and homegrown restaurants.
Though there were many struggles, the past year also inspired innovation, strengthened compassion, and redefined the meaning of perseverance. Temple Chamber of Commerce members stepped up to support the community. They provided healthcare workers vital equipment in short supply, helped non-profits with donations, supported the community with various services, and helped keep spirits high during a time of uncertainty.
Here are a handful of examples of how Temple Chamber Members helped amid the COVID-19 pandemic:
The Temple Chamber of Commerce is filled with gratitude for our members and the community. Our efforts to support the business community would not be possible without the support of our members. 2020 has shown us that there is no better time to be a member of the Temple Chamber of Commerce. We have a vital role in our local community and are positioned to help preserve, protect, and promote a positive business environment in the greater Temple, TX area in 2021 and beyond.
For those not already plugged into our network, we invite you to learn more about the Chamber on our website or by calling (254) 773-2105.
The Temple Chamber of Commerce is excited to announce that in October, Business After Hours (BAH) and Business Link Lunch (BLL) will return. The monthly networking events were put on hold from March - August due to COVID-19.
“We’re ready to help our Chamber Members get back to networking and strengthening their business in the community,” said Kaylee Blumenfeld, Event Coordinator for the Temple Chamber. “Of course, we will be following and encouraging recommended CDC Guidelines to keep all our attendees healthy.”
October BLL is sponsored by Crawford Bowers Funeral Home and Jason’s Deli. It will be held on October 8, 2020, at 3220 S. 31st, Temple, TX. BLL provides a platform for members to connect during the lunch hour. It is a great networking opportunity, making new and renewing old business contacts, receiving a Chamber update, and gaining valuable information from the sponsor. There is a limit of 28 attendees due to room size. Register online at templechamber.com.
October BAH is sponsored by McLane Intelligent Solutions and Security Bank. It will be held on October 22, 2020, at the Pavilion at the Lakes. BAH is a highly popular monthly evening event offering members and prospective members the opportunity to meet colleagues representing Temple area businesses in an engaging, relaxed atmosphere. This is an outdoor Oktoberfest held annually with Wat Tha Truck catering. There will be plenty of room to social distance but still get to know fellow Temple Businesses. New members from March – September will be announced.
The Temple Chamber encourages all members to be involved with our monthly networking events. To find an up-to-date calendar visit templechamber.com and click on the Events tab. We look forward to seeing our members again!
During this season of unprecedented uncertainty, local businesses that make the fabric and character of our community need our support. To coincide with the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Texas Wine month, the Temple Chamber of Commerce and City of Temple are excited to present the Spirit of Santa Fe Trail this October.
The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is an opportunity to celebrate not only Central Texas wineries, but breweries and restaurants too.
“Central Texas has a budding winery and brewery industry that offers something for everyone,” noted Rod Henry, Temple Chamber of Commerce President. “Our region produces the traditional grape based wine, mead wine, and fruit-based wines, craft beer, and more. We also have countless home-grown restaurants that give our region a unique identity.”
The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail will begin Thursday October 1, 2020 and end Monday, October 12, 2020. During the trail, wineries, breweries, and restaurants will offer ticket holders exclusive discounts. The trail is a great way to experience the flavors of Central Texas at your own pace. The $20 trail ticket is valid for one exclusive offer at each participating location over the trail dates.
Participating winery and brewery locations include: 3 Texans Winery & Vineyard, Axis Winery, Dancing Bee Winery, The Inn at Salado Winery, Moose & Goose Winery, and Fire Base Brewing Company. Participating restaurants include: The Barton House, Benny’s Ristorante Italiano, La Dalat, La Riv, Nami Japanese Steakhouse (Temple), Our Daily Taco, Pignetti’s, Treno Pizzeria & Taproom, and Wings Pizza N Things.
Purchase tickets online at centraltexastickets.com. Pick-up punch card for trail from participating wineries, brewery or the Chamber with proof of ticket purchase. Visit templechamber.com for a full listing of exclusive offers from the participating locations.
The Spirit of Santa Fe Trail is made possible by generous sponsors: Emerson Construction, Kasberg, Patrick & Associates, Emporium Packaging & Spice Co., Lengefeld Lumber Company, Ludwick, Montgomery & Stapp, P.C., Covey Landscape Architects, and Extraco Banks.