Do you have ideas or resources to share with the Fort Worth business community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic? Learn about the Chamber’s newest virtual resource to the business community, with topics ranging from marketing and funding to human resources and compliance issues.

The Fort Worth Chamber hosted experienced users, Mike Coffey, President of Imperative Information Group, Dante Williams, Owner of DIG Contracting, Vicky Cisneros, President of Cisneros Restaurants, Inc., and Brittany Brookens, Director of Small Business at the Chamber, to discuss benefits of the online forum and specifics on how to utilize the online conversations.

Watch the full webinar here.

About the Forum

The Chamber solicited feedback from community members on topics, and how to structure the forum. This forum, which officially launched last week, is accessible to anyone in the business community.

Getting Started

To access the forum, visit community.fort worth chamber.com. Users can also access it from the Chamber’s homepage. To get started, users must register at the top of the page under the ‘Users’ tab. Registration is simple and primarily consists of a username and a few details for the user’s profile. While anyone can view the forum, only registered users can post or comment.

Once successfully registered, users can familiarize themselves with the Code of Conduct and introduce themselves under the Forum Announcements tab.

Brookens advises users to take some time to read through forum topics and discussion threads, and, as a good rule of thumb, to check back within 24-48 hours of posting a question to view responses.

Purpose of the Forum

Coffey believes that this forum is good for the business climate, especially over the next few years.

“Other [Chamber] employees are going to be looking at what these conversations are about. It’s pulling teeth to get people to respond to surveys, but when the staff can see the zeitgeist of business in Fort Worth and hear from them, it’s a great addition and a great tool that we can all benefit from.”

He also cautions users to keep the forum’s goal in mind and to remain civil.

“People forget to be respectful and friendly with each other. It’s going to be like that on the forum at some point, so we need to remember the reason we’re here: to improve Fort Worth’s business climate.”

Cisneros believes that this forum allows businesses to help others plan out a new course of action during an uncertain time. She recommends that users come to the forum under the idea that “we really are here to help one another” and to assume that the information and help on the forum are complimentary.

“Forums are the place where you get the best mentors, you can be open and honest, you can share, and there is nothing wrong with saying, ‘Hey, I need help. What can you do?’ And if you can do something, do it.”

Dante emphasizes the importance of going back to the forum after asking a question, citing this as an example of using the forum the way it’s supposed to be used.

“This is about help, and it’s about using the tool for what the tool is supposed to be used for,” he adds. “As long as we keep that in the forefront of this is a tool to help and to put information out to assist each other, I think this will go a long way in how useful the forum will be.”

How to make the forum a part of your daily routine

The key to receiving the most benefit out of this forum is to visit consistently, almost on a daily basis. Cisneros puts it on her calendar, as if an appointment, while Coffey has embedded the forum into his home tabs, so that it automatically pops up when he logs into his browser.

Leaders Online, an alternative to in-person programming, was created to assist Fort Worth Chamber members with obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Leaders Online features industry experts via virtual livestreams to answer questions and guide local employers in situations they’re likely not familiar with, associated with COVID-19. For a complete list of upcoming virtual events, click here.