Business Briefs
Business Briefs

Business Briefs

The chamber meeting wrap-up

By Larry Sparks

The Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce held its monthly meeting Oct. 4. The morning began with a networking breakfast for members and guests. Breakfast was provided by Na’Tima Harrison of Save My Project. As breakfast sponsor, she was invited to discuss her business. Na’Tima provided clear and reasonable steps for businesses to take to protect systems and find solutions that work best. As a technology consultant, Na’Tima is ready to assist business owners in making the most of technology and choosing the most suitable options. 

She shared four categories of preparedness for businesses: 1) importance of proper training on systems and security; 2) prevention of phishing and hacking attacks; 3) creation of strong passwords that are changed every 90 days; and 4) performance of regular software updates. She said her mission is to empower smaller organizations to make better tech decisions that support their overall goals. Her advice was timely, given that October is Cyber Security month.

The main presentation of the morning came from Grant Winger of Fresh Start Center. He shared with the group details on the vital work performed in our area. Formed in 2007, Fresh Start has evolved to the vital resource it is today. Hunger can happen to anyone. Addressing food insecurity is one of its most important missions. Additionally, it places focus on serving nutrient-dense foods, educating on gardening and budgeting and providing pastoral care and prayer support. In execution of this focus, it has served 82,000 food-insecure people last year; 14% of those people were children. So far in 2023, the center has served 49.84% more families than last year; it has provided over 139,500 meals; volunteered over 6,256 hours; and its nurses have met with more than 208 families. Since its inception, Fresh Start has provided over 3 million meals.

Fresh Start Center has been supported in its mission through significant partnerships. Boy Scout Troop 149 brought in 19,000 pounds of food during its April food drive. Colorado Springs Health Foundation provided a generous nursing grant. Generous donors helped raise money through the car show fundraiser at Red’s American Grill in Falcon and the American Legion Riders of Post 2008 Poker Run. Partnering with COSILoveYou, the center helped to distribute 2,300 backpacks to students in our area.

Winger said the center’s services are increasing. Inflation is a real issue that is placing stress on the economically vulnerable. Nearly 17 million adults say that rent increases have forced a move in the last six months, according to the Census Bureau. Grocery prices are on the rise and are 23% higher than they were at the start of the pandemic. The typical American household spent $709 more in July than it did in the same period two years ago. We can all be truly thankful for the faithful dedication that Fresh Start Center applies to its mission.

By partnering with Fresh Start Center, the Eastern Plains Chamber of Commerce and local businesses help to ease human suffering in our community.

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