Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber Ramps Up Outreach in Midst of Virus

SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE – Like the many businesses and organizations it serves and represents, the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce is finding new ways to operate while navigating restrictions caused by the outbreak of novel coronavirus.

According to Executive Director Christopher Finley, the SMLRCC remains active and engaged, dedicated to helping members overcome the challenges brought on by the crisis.

“The collective chamber community across Virginia, our region and the nation is leading the charge in driving plans for business preparedness during the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recovery and growth that must follow,” Finley said. “In addition, we are working with our neighboring tourism partners on offering additional resources as appropriate and collaborating on ways to help minimize the impact on our economy.”

Finley said Chamber staff members, who are working remotely, are focused on internal and external communications via a variety of online channels, traditional and social media, as well as email and video conferencing. 

Combating Coronavirus Resource Page

The Chamber recently created a dedicated page on its website for updates related to COVID-19. In addition to links to important health resources, the page includes a Coronavirus Business Toolkit with links to guidance for employers, workplace tips, the Small Business Association’s Disaster Relief Lending Resources and Facebook’s Small Business Grants Program. 

The page is accessible at

Local Restaurant Resource Page

Also available on the Chamber website is a page dedicated to communicating the current operating status of SMLRCC restaurant members. Updated frequently, the list denotes which restaurants are providing dine-in, delivery and carry-out service, as well as gift cards.

The page is accessible at

Member Forums via Video Conferencing

The SMLRCC is using video conferencing to facilitate virtual meetings March 25-27 for its members.

“Just because we can’t meet face-to-face doesn’t mean we can’t continue to come together to share services, products and best practices,” he said. “Several of the forums are open to all business members and others are designed to focus on specific categories, including  retail services, home services, restaurants, tourism services, real estate, and finance and lending.”

For additional information, email [email protected].

Social Media Initiatives

Finley also noted the Chamber has significantly ramped up its social media efforts to provide critical information for local business owners and their customers.

“Facebook has been a particularly important way for us to get messages out quickly to members and the Smith Mountain Lake Community at large. We’re sharing information and resources from other organizations and Chamber members, as well as posts from other groups that highlight the amazing things our SML neighbors are doing to support businesses and the less fortunate in our community,” he said.

Search Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates and use the hashtag #StrongerTogetherSML.

Digital 2020 SML Visitor Guide now available

Finley said for those who can’t get out and about, the new 2020 Smith Mountain Lake Newcomer and Visitor Guide is available online for free. The magazine includes comprehensive information on living at and visiting Smith Mountain Lake, including shopping, dining, lodging, events, activities and real estate.

The digital version of the Guide is accessible at

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