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Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce Celebrates Women in Business this Month

The Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce hosts the 5th Annual Women’s Leadership Luncheon this month. The virtual event will gather, support, and celebrate New Mexico’s inspiring women entrepreneurs throughout November. The remarkably apt theme this year is agility.

The combined weight of personal and professional challenges during the pandemic has fallen especially heavily on the shoulders of women. Women have experienced job losses at a higher rate than men during 2020. “Women-owned businesses are also struggling,” writes Albuquerque Business First Associate Editor Julian Vadnais “According to a survey by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the number of female business owners who ranked their business’ overall health as “good” fell by 13 percentage points from 60% in January to 47% in July.”

Despite the obstacles, however, “women have been incredibly innovative and resilient,” says Chamber President and CEO Bridget Dixon. “Women in general are resilient. We learn to pivot, manage expectations, and adapt. We at the Chamber have had to do that with our events. Some of the women who will be panelists and speakers have needed to be agile their entire lives. We think that the whole community can really resonate with that right now. How do you make face hardship and make changes with a positive mindset?”

Registration is open now. Sessions begin Wednesday, Nov 4. Lunches are provided by women owned restaurants and women owned businesses will be spotlighted throughout the month. Expect the same networking and mentorship opportunities from the extended, virtual version as from the in-person event, with more flexible scheduling. Click here for more information and registration.

In an interview series, we speak with Dixson and Events Programmer Katie Capener about the event, women in entrepreneurship, supporting local businesses, and more.

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SGA: Please tell us about this year’s event!

Bridget Dixson:  The Women’s Leadership Luncheon is an idea that we came up with five years ago. There was a Forbes article pointing out that Santa Fe had more women entrepreneurs than anywhere else in the country. That is such a testament to our community. I think this is partly because we’re so welcoming to new ideas here. People can try really creative ideas and be successful in Santa Fe.

The conversation at these events centers around women’s lives and leadership, mentorship, and how they’re able to build a balanced home and work life. That’s something we need now more than ever, not just women, but men as well. This year, we’ve all had to find agility and work-life balance, especially if you have young children at home.

SGA: How will the event be structured this year?

Katie Capener: While this year’s event is virtual, we will absolutely foster engaging, inspiring, and candid conversation. We have an incredible lineup for the entire month, starting with Monique Jacobson this upcoming Wednesday. [Among many other things, Jacobson transformed tourism in New Mexico during her time as Director of the state’s tourism department.]

There are three consecutive Power Up Lunches every Wednesday, November 4, 11, and 18, leading up to the culminating Women’s Leadership Luncheon on November 19. People love this event for making connections, meeting people, mentors, and colleagues, and sharing meaningful conversations. We’re excited to virtually recreate the event’s essence and value and even expand our reach.

You can participate in one-day Wednesday sessions individually, the luncheon individually, or you can purchase it all together. The virtual format creates so much flexibility it actually allows us to do more for participants.

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Stay tuned this week for more about the event, how women are exemplifying agility, and the­ inspiring Santa Fe business community!

 

 

Resource Roundup – Reopen Checklist for Businesses

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced last week that some businesses can begin to reopen (in modified form) and that others might be able to on May 15. To help businesses prepare, the Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce shared this useful checklist:
  • Determine the square footage of your business and know how many customers can be inside the space at one time. Under possible new guidelines, businesses could be limited to 20% of your maximum capacity.
  • Consider how you will control access. How will you control deliveries, customers and visitors? Develop a plan for different areas of your business with safety and cleaning protocols. Under possible new guidelines, businesses could be asked to have designated entrances and separate exits.
  • Create a social-distancing plan to decrease density and rethink traffic patterns. Consider the possibility that you may have to install plexiglass shields at each point of sale area and/or floor signage that designates the appropriate wait line distancing.
  • Reduce touch points by leaving doors open, not requiring signatures on transactions, etc. There may be a need for additional cleanings between shifts or even between customers based on foot traffic into your business.
  • Will you need PPE for your employees, and can you purchase them?
  • Consider signage encouraging customer facial covering.
  • Have sanitizers available at entrances to your business.
  • Prepare to train staff for any new protocol.
These are just a few suggestions to consider, as we move forward in opening Santa Fe businesses.