Its Feature Friday! Today we want to give a huge shoutout to an organization who has truly stepped up to help our community and it’s businesses over the past weeks. Thank you to the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce! To learn more about the DCRCOC, read the message below fromt their President and CEO, Frank Castella, Jr.:

The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce lies at the very heart of the business community here in Dutchess County. We are an advocate for businesses and organizations, provide resources and tools to help them grow, and aid them in establishing long-term, meaningful relationships with both other businesses and the community as a whole. We are often referred to as the union for employers, and we see ourselves as partners with those employers in trying to make the region the best place to live, give, work, play, and raise a family.  This is why we created and promoted the Think Local First campaign strongly and it still remains relevant, 14 years later. We will remain steadfast in reminding our community that when you spend a dollar locally you are supporting your friends, neighbors and community.

While we are a regional chamber of commerce spanning the county and beyond, being based in the city of Poughkeepsie is a large part of our heritage. Poughkeepsie has always been a hub for business and community and is the county seat. We take pride in having our home in the city, as its history and people have helped us grow to where we are today. The city of Poughkeepsie is at the fore-front of some exciting changes for our county. Years of hard work, energy and leadership have brought about a wave of positive progressive investment and growth initiatives in Poughkeepsie and we are so proud to play a role in the success of the city for the greater good of our county.  While we are currently in unprecedented times, we know the city of Poughkeepsie will persevere, and come out of this a stronger community than ever.

The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce offers a great deal of value and tools for both businesses and nonprofit organizations. The chamber takes pride in being a collective voice for all local employers to take a stand on common sense legislation and initiatives. When there’s an issue facing the business community, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce is often the first one to start the conversation on what possible solutions can be. 

Recently, the chamber has collaborated with regional economic development partners and Dutchess County Government on the creation of the Dutchess Business Notification Network.  We have taken the resources of the chamber and created this initiative to assist all local employers and employees, member or not. We’ve held a number of educational webinars, bringing experts in respective fields, to discuss how people can, should, or must adapt in response to COVID-19. These are accessible to anyone and attendees can even ask questions. We’ve also held live Q&A’s with County Executive Marcus Molinaro, and will be holding a live Q&A with our congressional representatives next week. While there currently may be a lot of uncertainty, we want to make sure those in the community are able to stay informed on information that will impact them and maintain a dialogue with local leaders, because we believe the well informed, with the right resources and connections are those that will come back the fastest and strongest.

We’ve also opened up many of our resources, normally restricted for member benefits only, and made them available for all organizations to participate in. Our member news section has been made public, so businesses or organizations are able to share updates, needs, ideas, and promotions during the COVID-19 epidemic. The Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce social media pages are helping to spread the word about resources available to employers in the region, and anyone can post to our visitors page on Facebook. Along with DBNN, we’ve even created a “Dutchess Delivers” Facebook page to help restaurants and other businesses promote that they are open and ready to serve. 

It is through great times of crisis that you see what kind of fabric a community is truly made from, and we can tell you the fabric binding our City, County, and region together is strong. Whether someone is repurposing their facility to make masks, donating meals for first responders and hospital workers, or volunteering their time to help those most vulnerable, our community is coming together like no other time before. Even as businesses struggle to get through this difficult time, not knowing if they will ever be able to reopen their doors as it was before, they are working to see how they can do more. It is that selfless service to the community that truly makes us proud to be partnered with so many incredible businesses and organizations. Keep in mind, there are people with families behind every one of these businesses and they too need the support of our their customers now more than ever.   

The best way to get involved is to remember to #ThinkLocalFirst through these troubling times. By shopping with a local business, you not only help that business survive in these uncertain times, but you help a friend keep their job, a youth activity program keep their sponsor, and taxes stay local to support our local infrastructure and economy. We are sure of one thing in these uncertain times, the Dutchess County Regional Chamber of Commerce will continue to be here as a resource, advocate, and partner for both our members and the business community at large.