By Renee Summers
Telegram Reporter 

Wayne County Businesses Have a Partner in Regional Chamber of Commerce

 

September 23, 2021

JESSICA PINTO - SWCRC Vice President of Member Services

The Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber (SWCRC) serves the western Wayne County and Downriver business communities by supporting local businesses, providing resources, and promoting engagement with a variety of sectors in the state of Michigan. SWCRC's vision is to be a unifying body for the Downriver business community by bringing people and organizations together to enhance the region and boasts a membership of more than 500 businesses which employ more than 20,000 workers in 21 Downriver municipalities.

As a larger, "umbrella" organization, the SWCRC works with each smaller, local chamber of commerce by providing a larger network to advance local business interests. "We lean on each other a lot," says Jessica Pinto, SWCRC Vice President of Member Services. "We're always here to lend them a helping hand and we've got great relationships with ones like Belleville, Romulus, Allen Park, and Lincoln Park. We're all members of each other and we're always here to help those smaller chambers."


For the past 18 months, the SWCRC has performed an advocacy role by keepingits members informed as information about COVID-19 became available to the public, along with orders and guidelines from the governor and state health department. Randy Pilon, SWCRC Marketing and Events Manager says, "During the height of the stay-at-home orders of the pandemic, we started sending out resource guides every time there was a new order coming from the state so businesses knew what was happening and how it affects them. We broke it down into more clear, simple language so that way our membership all had access and all could understand what exactly was going on." In addition, the chamber provided information on federal programs to assist businesses hurt by the pandemic and offered instructional webinars for navigating government websites and application forms.


SWCRC's advocacy extends to Lansing and Washington, D.C. as well as county lawmakers and leaders by way of its Public Policy Committee. The committee seeks to educate its membership and the general public on legislative proposals and policy initiatives which affect the business community. The SWCRC also sponsors events which promote interaction between the business community and elected officials. Currently, the SWCRC is seeking to address the current labor shortage which affects thousands of businesses in the state. This past summer, the chamber sent a letter to elected leaders in Lansing asking for their help in addressing the problem by way of stronger enforcement of work search requirement for those still receiving unemployment insurance, addressing the lack of affordable childcare, and skilled jobs training, to name a few.


As a service to its member, the SWCRC includes a Job Openings link on its webpage where member businesses can post job openings for free. The Job Openings link is open to anyone searching for work.

The SWCRC's Destination Downriver Campaign is designed to promote tourism by highlighting all that Downriver offers by way of shopping, eateries, recreation, cultural gems, and natural attractions. The SWCRC partners with other organizations to promote the Downriver experience, including Friends of the Rouge, Wayne County Parks, and DTE Energy.


When it comes to trumpeting Downriver and its offerings, the SWCRC is a great resource for anyone searching for a local business such a jeweler or an electrician, or even a local farmer's market. "We're here to help small business, whether they're just starting out or whether they've been in business for years," says Pinto.

"There are so many different benefits of being involved in the chamber for any type of small business, it's a great organization to be a part of and there's a little something for everyone; no matter what your interests are you can find a way to be involved with the chamber," Pilon adds. "We're happy to see all the new developments coming up and all the great things that are happening in the area." The SWCRC's website if packed with information on local businesses and events.

RANDY PILON - SWCRC Marketing and Events Manager

To find out more about the SWCRC, go to http://www.swcrc.com. On the main page, follow the Programs and Services tab to find the Job Openings link. You can find the Destination Downriver link under the About tab.

 

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