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COVID-19 Recovery Resources – and a message from the CEO

Posted by: Main Line Chamber on Saturday, March 21, 2020 at 12:00:00 pm
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A special message to the members and friends of The Main Line Chamber of Commerce:

In these difficult times, I’ve been privileged to hear from and marshal considerable resources to help so many members. I think of your health and those you care about and work with. We are in this together, although it will affect some disproportionally as do many things in life. It’s a time for caution, love and for many including your Chamber of Commerce team, outstanding effort.

I’m also keenly aware of the rising economic impact to our region – companies, governments and individuals who are finding themselves suddenly without jobs in huge numbers.

The Main Line Chamber of Commerce is responding to current affairs on multiple fronts and in unprecedented ways. We are working hard to be of service to the community, working with government, supporting nonprofits and particularly our members – bringing people together to do business and influence the future, without of course violating state orders and health care guidelines.

When Gov. Wolf announced wide-sweeping government shutdowns that caused widespread confusion, we reached out for clarification and questioned some of the specifics. The creation of this COVID-19 Recovery Resources email newsletter (see additional content below) occurred on the fly last week and will continue to evolve. We will draw attention to sources of aid for businesses, nonprofits and residents. The link to member restaurants offering take-out service within this email is one example of how we are working to connect members with business. As an organization focused on the importance of education and talent development, we have been pleased to provide links to resources to parents with children at home. Our Leadership Main Line program will continue on a modified schedule using virtual tools we are adopting with good success.

Now more than ever, our mission of connecting our members with business, leadership development and talent is vital to the strength and recovery of our region. Please know that the Chamber team is working remotely and intensely. It’s our privilege and obligation to do so. You will find our individual email addresses at our contact page under Your Chamber at

Our first ever live virtual Society of Professional Women event last Thursday, featuring author and historian Robin Gerber, provides a model for other organizations seeking to provide valuable and inspiring content. We can all use some inspiration, particularly now. Through Tuesday, you can watch the video here. It will be available for purchase starting on Wednesday.

Our members are truly amazing. These past few weeks, companies small and large have continued to join and invest in membership renewals and sponsorship packages that will provide new business opportunities. Our member communications services are operating at a high volume. While over the long term we can only continue to serve our members if members continue to invest in us, we are developing strategies that will provide member companies that are hurting with help and support.

We are here for the entire community, but our resources are particularly focused on showing loyalty to member companies that are our lifeblood and raison d’etre. We are a vital and sustainable organization only because of their support. With your support, I pledge we will be here to serve you into our next centennial, starting in 2021.

My recommended path: Your Chamber is operating on two tracks that I believe serve as a model. We must focus on taking positive action today while planning for and investing in our brighter future. Meeting immediate needs and planning for better days is a formula that will help those of us who can to emerge stronger. So far, we are seeing this in numerous interactions. This philosophy applies to everyone, including those who suddenly find themselves without jobs as well as solopreneurs, nonprofit leaders and CEOs of major companies that make up the Chamber.

We particularly keep in mind our emergency responders, who are a major area of focus for The Main Line Chamber Foundation, and our medical professionals who are on the front lines in the COVID-19 response. We will support them where we can and in better days celebrate the vital role they play.

As a business community, a region, a nation, a world, we will get through this. Let’s continue to equip ourselves to have the maximum positive impact as we emerge from this crisis.

We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Like everyone, we are trying to do our best during a trying time. Your help and support are appreciated.

If you think the Chamber can do anything for you or your business, let us know. While we are working on many fronts, it’s important we assess need and respond in the areas in which we think we can do the most good. While we won’t be able to do everything, I promise huge effort and measurable positive action. Hearing from you and your companies helps.

Best regards-Be safe,





Bernard Dagenais 
President & CEO 
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce


Businesses seek clarification and modification to Governor’s order

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s Executive Order closing down businesses broadly throughout the Commonwealth was modified Friday, as clarifications continue to be sought. With the closure deadline extended through the weekend, accountants, tax preparers, manufacturing supply companies and some lawyers so far are being allowed to continue operations. Remote operations are not affected. This Philadelphia Inquirer piece by a team or reporters provides an update on an evolving situation.


A message from the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry

Friday evening, the Wolf administration issued updated guidelines related to the governor's order for all "non-life-sustaining businesses" in the Commonwealth to close their physical locations.  The updated guidelines can be found here.  This updated guidance from the administration aligns with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory that was released on March 19.  Enforcement actions against businesses that don't comply with the governor's order are now slated to begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, March 23 (the administration also announced it is delaying the start of the enforcement process by two days).


We understand there is considerable confusion among the state's business community regarding whether or not they are considered to be a "life-sustaining" business.  We encourage employers to review the administration's updated guidelines in conjunction with the CISA guidelines.  If there are still questions about whether their organization needs to close, they should contact the Department of Community and Economic Development at  Businesses can apply for a waiver to the order via DCED's website .  The administration has also developed a FAQ for businesses with questions about the governor's order.


Please rest assured that the PA Chamber is taking every step necessary to ensure that the business community receives factual, up-to-date information and guidance on how to proceed throughout this ongoing and evolving situation.  Over the coming days and weeks we will continue to be a resource and partner to both the Wolf administration and the business community – helping to facilitate conversations and mitigate issues as they arise.  We will be posting updates to the "Business Resources For Coronavirus" page on the PA Chamber's website. Please feel free to contact us with any additional questions, our office can be reached at 800-225-7224 or


Philadelphia Foundation, United Way lead regional fund at $6 million plus and growing

The PHL COVID-19 Fund has been established to rapidly deploy solutions and resources to help nonprofits navigate challenges from the coronavirus. Organizations making significant contributions include Main Line Chamber members The Philadelphia Foundation, United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey, Independence Blue Cross, Wells Fargo, Comcast, Bank of America and the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Philadelphia. The Fund will accept applications from 501(c)(3) organizations in Greater Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey region with a successful track record of serving at-risk populations who are experiencing the negative health and economic effects of COVID-19 right now.


Bank of America pledges $100 million in COVID-19 funding

Main Line Chamber member Bank of America has pledged $100 million nationally, with much to be deployed through the bank’s local markets to respond to COVID-19 related issues. One partnership with Sal Khan Academy makes virtual learning available to students learning from home, in a resource for parents and teachers.


Law firm Stradley Ronon provides insurance insights

Member law firm Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young provides clarifications on insurance-related matters relating to business interruption, cyber insurance, directors and officers coverage, workers compensation and other areas of liability.



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