“The Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce receiving this accreditation is truly an acknowledgement of their excellent work,” said Raymond P. Towle, U.S. Chamber vice president of Federation Relations and Institute for Organization Management. “Accredited chambers are recognized for their ability to serve as a resource to their region’s businesses while maintaining transparent governance practices, sound financial controls, safe work environments, effective communications and value in programming. They are commended for their continued advocacy of free enterprise and for this tremendous accomplishment.”
Every five years, the reaccreditation process looks a little different. Over the course of the last two years, the Toledo Chamber was faced with a new challenge: representing and supporting the business community during a pandemic and ensuing economic challenges. Naturally, this year's reaccreditation process included information about how we refocused our efforts in order to meet the unique needs of our business community in order to keep northwest Ohio business leaders in the know in the midst of pandemic-related mandates, accessing local and national grants, and more.
The application to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce this year emphasized the work that we did – and are continuing to do – in order to address factors that will impact us at the Toledo Chamber, our community and the local economy over the next three to five years. That includes work not just in the pandemic and post-pandemic spaces, but in workforce and talent alignment strategy, as well as in diversity, equity and inclusion. More specifically, it highlighted our role in:
- creating the Northwest Ohio Reboot Initiative by partnering with over 20 of our business, community, educational and economic development partners to streamline resources and avoid duplication of services;
- administering the Lucas County Small Business Stabilization Grant which included providing $2 million in grants to local small businesses;
- assisting over 600 small businesses through our Small Business Development Center, in particular accessing Paycheck Protection Program funding and Economic Injury Disaster Loan money, breaking previous records for number of businesses assisted in a fiscal year;
- developing Business Reboot Policy Recommendations and making over 900 contacts with public officials to communicate our local businesses' needs to key policymakers;
- participating as business liaison for The VProject, a local initiative to encourage COVID-19 vaccination; and
- much, much more.
Being Reaccredited with 5 Stars is an important recognition that we are proud to have achieved, and without the support of our members, our partners in the community and the many strong organizations throughout northwest Ohio, this reaccreditation would not have been possible. To our members, partners and friends in the community, thank you. We look forward to continuing to serve and represent you and the entire northwest Ohio business community.