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Utica Chamber of Commerce receives COVID-19 support grant

Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce receives COVID-19
support grant from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield

 Funding will be used for PPE toolkits made available for pick up September 16 

UTICA, NY – The Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce has received $10,000 in financial support from Excellus BlueCross BlueShield to support the organization in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant funding will be used to fund the purchase of supplies such as hand sanitizer, cleaning products, masks/shields, and to cover the cost of printing CDC health and safety materials for inclusion in toolkits intended for distribution to businesses in need that are reopening or that recently reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown.

As businesses reopen and resume operations while the potential for COVID-19 transmission continues to be of great concern, the financial strain felt by many businesses from diminished consumer traffic and lost revenue is compounded by the unanticipated and unbudgeted costs of sanitization/cleaning supplies, protective gear for employees, and educational signage.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted our local business community, especially our small business community,” said Meghan McGrogan, executive director of the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce.  “This grant so generously given to our Chamber by Excellus BCBS will enable the Chamber to provide a significant amount of PPE to our business community, allowing them to re-open and remain open safely.  Our organization’s purpose is to support the business community and this grant will certainly provide some much-needed support.  We are so appreciative of these funds and hope the kits we will be providing will give some relief to our businesses who are struggling to survive at this time.”

As part of its community response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Excellus BCBS is providing this financial support to chambers across upstate New York, which, in addition to the Greater Utica Chamber, includes the Rome Area Chamber of Commerce, the Herkimer County Chamber of Commerce, and several others, to help businesses offset the costs of reopening.

The Greater Utica Chamber has joined together with the Rome Area and the Herkimer County chambers to coordinate their collective efforts to use the funds provided by Excellus BCBS. This collaboration will allow for better pricing and coordinated purchasing of supplies for the PPE toolkits. As a result, all three chambers will be assembling 600 PPE Toolkits for pick-up.

Utica area businesses can bring a copy of their business card to pick up kits on Wednesday, September 16, from 10am-2pm, at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, 12 Rhoads Dr., Utica. Pick up will be contactless – upon arrival, a volunteer will collect business information through the vehicle window, and deliver the kit curbside.

“Local businesses are the backbone of our communities. As a local health care organization, it’s vital that we support them as they reopen and get back on their feet,” said Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Regional President Eve Van de Wal. “Keeping our community healthy is our mission. We’re pleased to support the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce and our local businesses.”

For more information about the Greater Utica Chamber of Commerce, visit

For the latest information on Excellus BCBS’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, members, providers and employers are encouraged to visit

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