An interview with Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Chad Amond.
We wanted to start this interview blog series off with Chad Amond of the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce. Chad is on the frontlines of business in our county. He is not only heavily involved in our county’s economy, but also cares deeply about its local business owners and our residents. Below is the interview-Chad Amond Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce:
77 Design Co: As Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce President/CEO, you’re at the heart of the Westmoreland County economy. Off the top of your head, what effects are you seeing from the Covid-19 situation?
Chad Amond: We are all struggling. We have “non life-sustaining” businesses that are struggling more. On the other hand, some “life-sustaining” are doing well. But companies like yours that mostly work remotely seem to be doing OK. IT companies are doing well also. I always say, no business is non life-sustaining. An example of this is a single parent employee of a non life-sustaining company that is not earning an income right now. Therefore, they may be struggling to pay bills and feed their child or children. So, no business could ever be non life-sustaining.
77: Which industry (or individual businesses) are hurting the worst in our county? What can we do to help as a community?
CA: So many are struggling. No, I don’t want to state any one specific industry or individual business as worse than another. For instance, it’s almost every business.
I’d say what we can do is buy more gift cards, or order takeout from local restaurants. As a community, we can go online and, if given the opportunity, buy online from a local business. The large national or international corporations will get their business. They are important, too. However, supporting local business is more important now than ever. Go to Facebook or Instagram, or wherever and review these local businesses and make sure to tell your friends and family about them.
77: How are other counties doing? Have you had any contact with other Chambers of Commerce?
CA: I’ve been working hour by hour, or minute by minute in some cases with Jim Smith President/CEO of The Economic Growth Connection of Westmoreland (EGC) and Jason Rigone Executive Director of the Industrial Development Corporation (WCIDC) about the situation. All three organizations are working together along with elected state officials too. It’s rough all over.
77: Any organizations that we can mention that our community can donate to to help the situation?
CA: All not for profits seem to be struggling. I’ll mention Adelphoi, food banks, and United Way, but there are more. You can call 211 and United Way is answering health related and food questions anyone may have.
I want to mention The FirstEnergy Foundation is donating $500,000 to 42 local food banks and hunger centers. It will accelerate approximately $1.5 million in matching contributions to 116 United Way agencies throughout the company’s service territory. This helps support vital health and human services organizations who need it the most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
77: Anything good you are seeing from all this? We love optimism.
CA: This is the most stressful, confusing, and weird thing that’s ever happened in most of our lives. It’s like when our grandparents or great-grandparents went through World War II or the Great Depression. They got through it though. That is to say, whenever it ends things will be much less stressful than even before it occurred. We will have endured.
When it does end, people will be flocking to the movies, restaurants, malls, stores, etc. like never before. That’s the positive. We have that to look forward to.
77: In conclusion, anything you’d like to add?
CA: We absolutely have to thank our hospitals. We need to thank our nurses, doctors, entire staffs, and first responders. Certainly, our grocers, gas station attendants/owners, and food services also need to be appreciated. Consequently, they are the ones getting us through this.
Westmoreland County residents should try to buy local 99% of the time, too. During this, and even afterwards, our local businesses will need our help.
Most importantly, I wish our county, nation, and well, the whole world to just be healthy and safe sooner rather than later.
A quick side note from 77:
In conclusion, we’ve explained in past social media posts and blogs about how our business was formed. If it wasn’t for the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce, we wouldn’t be here. Networking years ago at the Westmoreland County Chamber of Commerce is what started our business. For that we will always be grateful. We are still proud members of the organization.
From a personal standpoint, Chad has been a great colleague and mentor to 77 Design Co. We are also honored to call him a good friend (and a fellow Red Sox fan along with co-owner Bobby Drakulic) too. Chad would like to mention that he also likes the Pirates. He had a chance to throw out the first pitch at a game last year as well. If we had to describe Chad in one word, it would be “GENUINE.”
77 Design Co. is committed to helping small business succeed. We want to keep their doors open, and keep roofs over their family’s heads. Keeping your business alive during this mess is crucial.
Finally, contact us if you own a business, or know of a business owner that needs marketing help. We are volunteering work at heavily discounted rates (or in some instances free) to keep business stable in our county. Any way we can help, we will.
Additionally, here’s our services: https://77designco.com/services-2/
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