December 1, 2020

Chamber Leaders Help Business Owners Navigate New Landscape

BUFFALO GROVE, IL — At a time often filled with cynicism in the business world due to the coronavirus pandemic, especially on the local level, Adriane Johnson remains optimistic. The president of the Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce is drawing plenty of positivity from other area business owners.

“Overall, the vibe of our [Chamber] members is hope, continuous improvement, pivoting and innovation,” said Johnson, who founded Populus XP, LLCout of Riverwoods, in 2006. “Our members are resilient and are demonstrating the power of American ingenuity.”

The Chamber was formed in 2014 following a merger between the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce (founded in 1972) and the Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce (1973). It is headquartered at 50 1/2 Raupp Blvd. in Buffalo Grove.

“Our members have pivoted in the pandemic and have embraced technology platforms like Zoom, to support the new virtual workforce and new way of doing business,” Johnson said. “We are so proud to hear about the many success stories from some of our members.”

Here are some success stories Johnson points out and her comments on the businesses:

  • LifeMaps, 1500 Harbour Drive, Wheeling — “Ronnie Oher has her marketing strategy and approach, which has helped her garner lots of press coverage.”

  • We Place People, 355 W Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove — “Steve Golberg and Jenn Roberts are helping prospective employees secure jobs by coaching them on how to interview via Zoom and other virtual platforms.

  • Baird & Warner, 754 W Northwest Highway, Barrington — “Realtor Mary Conway shows homes via virtual tours and facilitates virtual closings.”

  • Move Studio Pilates & Fitness, 300 Village Green, Lincolnshire — “Emily Schneider moved into a new space in Lincolnshire, and in addition to providing one-hour sessions to help people with self-care, but has also created a space to support virtual learning for her team’s and members’ children.”

  • Blackdog Speed Shop, Inc, 600 Barclay Blvd., Lincolnshire — “Mike Melaniphy and the team from Blackdog Speed Shop are servicing their member through appointments and taking special care to ensure safety in handling of customers’ vehicles, while honoring our frontline workers.”

  • “We have several of our legal services businesses, like Law Office of Bradley L. Schencker (400 W Dundee Road, Buffalo Grove), Howard & Howard Attorneys, PLLC (200 S Michigan Ave., Chicago), Marc J. Blumenthal, LTD (725 E Dundee Road, Arlington Heights), and Shire Law Group (1 Overlook Point, Lincolnshire) that are providing online processing of legal documents and some are attending court virtually.”

  • “A couple of our financial advisors, including Roy Mason from Edward Jones (975 Weiland Road, Buffalo Grove) and Jim Floyd from Merrill Lynch (1033 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook), are meeting with their clients via Zoom and hosting financial webinars / programs virtually as well.”

Chamber members also utilize the Business Referral Network, a signature networking group, that Johnson says is thriving and presents “a diverse mix of business owners and professionals focused on staying connected.”

As summer moves into fall, and with winter not too far away, area restaurants are especially concerned about the next few months. Carolyn Gessner, communications manager of the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce, told Patch members of her organization are having ongoing conversations in preparation for the colder weather. That Chamber will be releasing more details in October.

Johnson is also preparing for the remainder of 2020. She is hoping the Chamber’s efforts can help members “make it to the other side of the pandemic.” Among the biggest challenges according to Johnson are member acquisition and retention, and monetizing virtual events.

“Like many chambers, we suspended fees for virtual programming to help members get through a tough economic challenge due to the pandemic,” Johnson said. “But to keep programming of high value and for the Chamber to continue growing, we have to find ways to monetize virtual programs and events.”

The Chamber has regularly provided members with timely information for the past six months about things like PPP loans and small business grants, according to Johnson. She feels these efforts and the attitude of members will help increase the chances of businesses surviving during the pandemic.

“We’ve heard from so many members about how they are reinventing themselves as they work toward rebuilding their businesses,” Johnson said. “As our members are navigating the new normal, they are eager to get back to full operations and continue to innovate. The vibe is also to about keeping networking alive, and getting the word out that they are open for business.”

To learn more about the Buffalo Grove Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce, visit here.

This article originally appeared on the Buffalo Grove Patch

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