Your Chamber at Work - June 10, 2020


I was asked by the Kansas City Business Journal  to share my thoughts in response to the community protests following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Here’s a portion of my guest editorial with a link to the full column:

What’s been happening this week around the Country Club Plaza needs to serve as a wake-up call and a call to action.

We need to wake up to the injustice/inequity in our society: inequity in policing; housing; and access to health care, to education, to jobs via public transit and to opportunity. For far too long we have tacitly found it acceptable to have thousands of Kansas Citians disconnected from the economy we benefit from every day.

We’ve had these wake-up calls before — following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the beating of Rodney King. Little, if anything, changed.

This latest wake-up call is the opportunity to bring that much-needed change.

The killing of George Floyd has saddened us all — just like the deaths of so many other African-American men and women before. The sadness felt and anger expressed represent generations of systemic racism and inequity that have divided our country and our Kansas City community.

Here’s the link to the full column. Here are others that were submitted, if you’d like to take a look: Maurice Watson, Fr. Thomas Curran, and Jeff Simon.



There are big changes to the Paycheck Protection Program that businesses need to know about. On Friday, June 5, the President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Fairness Act. Among the changes to the original PPP:

  • Small businesses now have 24 weeks to use the PPP funds, increasing it from the previous 8-week timeframe.
  • Business owners must use 60% of the money for payroll instead of the original 75%.
  • The deadline to rehire workers has been moved from June 30 to December 31, 2020.

These are just some of the changes to the program. We recommend businesses that have received loans reach out to their lenders and financial advisors to see how these changes may specifically impact you.


Pro Athlete was coming into a big year in 2020, when COVID-19 suddenly hit. Like most small businesses, CEO Andrew Dowis, had to figure out what to do quickly. He made the tough choice to have every single employee work from home – for the rest of the year. Register now and hear from Andrew at our next Neighborhood Networking, Friday, June 12 from 9 to 10 a.m., to learn what kind of impact this decision had on the company. We hope you’ll fill your coffee mug and register now to connect with Andrew, Chamber staff, and of course your fellow Chamber members. Thanks to the Chamber’s 2020 networking sponsors Mazuma, SS&C, and Sprint for continued support of events like these to keep our community connected.


The KC Chamber’s Diversity Committee is proud to partner with the Society for Human Resource Management of Johnson County for a virtual discussion on diversity and inclusion, Wednesday, June 10 from noon to 1 p.m. Bring your questions and concerns for this interactive session. Hear why policies creating a diverse and inclusive workplace can help a business’ bottom line. It’s free for SHRMJC members, and just $10 for non-members. Register now.


June 12 is Word Trade Centers Association Day. Join WTC-KC Senior Manager Melissa Miller to learn for “How to Expand Your Business Internationally” this Friday, June 12 from 7 to 8 a.m. Melissa joins other WTC representatives from The Netherlands, Italy, China, India and more to discuss how the global market can help your business grow. This webinar is free for members of the World Trade Center–Kansas City and the KC Chamber. Sign up here and use the discount code “Members of World Trade Centers” when registering. The KC Chamber is one of just three Chambers of Commerce nationwide to hold a World Trade Center license.


It’s June and we haven’t seen any convention visitors packing Downtown KC. Kauffman Stadium is silent. Sporting KC’s season was suspended back in March. We still don’t know what things will be like at Arrowhead this fall. COVID-19 has had a severe impact on tourism and sports in KC. What can the region expect for the future of both industries? The Kansas City, Missouri Committee welcomes Kathy Nelson, President & CEO of the Greater Kansas City Sports Commission, and Jason Fulvi, President & CEO of Visit KC on Tuesday, June 23 from noon to 1:15 p.m. Register now to hear the discussion on the future of large-scale events and the impact on tourism dollars -- including the NFL Draft and the bid for the 2026 World Cup.