Program & Events
The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce presents numerous informative educational programs for Palo Alto business, hosts or co-hosts with other Chambers a Business EXPO and provides a series of Business After Hours Mixers for its members. The programs and the Business EXPO provide a venue for members to learn about business critical issues and to create new business connections that lead to increased revenue for participants.
The Chamber also hosts signature community events through the year that the business and the entire community can enjoy. Our Tall Tree Award Event, held in early spring each year, honors exceptional civic contributions and service to the community. The Athena Award Program recognizes and honors the achievements of outstanding professional and business women. The Palo Alto Festival of the Arts weekend is a fine art festival held in late August.
Business Referral Networks (BRN) represents a broad-based coalition of businesses throughout the Palo Alto area. The BRN Mission is to enhance our businesses by building strong relationships through weekly communication and the exchange of leads, referrals, and contact information.
Members of BRN assemble in forums comprised of a variety of business professionals representing various industries. Through exchange of information collective efforts are focused on creating business opportunities. This is accomplished by referring business among the members. The Chamber currently has two BRN groups and each group is limited to one member per industry but there is a waiting list of members to form additional groups.
The Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce is the sponsor for BRN. All members of BRN must be members of the Chamber. BRN provides a forum for cohesive and dynamic interaction among business professionals focused on networking opportunities that result in prospective customers for your business.
For more information on joining the group please contact the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce at (650) 324-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Although we do limit ourselves to one member per industry, the Chamber has a waiting list to form additional groups. BRN Palo Alto Members.
Leadership Palo Alto accelerates local leaders through a 10-full day immersion program over an academic year. Leadership Palo Alto Fellows gain an in-depth understanding of the full spectrum of Palo Alto life, including our local economic, social and government challenges, opportunities and trends while considering Palo Alto’s global influence. LPA Fellows join a powerful network of inspired and committed leaders in their fields and after the program are poised to have an impact far beyond our community. For more information: CLICK HERE
The Educator Series are periodic classes offered by Chamber Members who are experts in their fields and share informational updates, business tips and opportunities for professional development to enhance the management skill set of business owners and management teams of Chamber businesses. For more information see the Chamber Event Calendar.
The Silicon Valley Business EXPO is an event for the members of Santa Clara County Chambers of Commerce to showcase their business to a broader audience, and to have the opportunity for educational sessions to assist in the growth of member businesses, thus creating a stronger local economy for our region. The XPO features over 100 table-top exhibitors and over 1,000 attendees. The 2016 XPO will be held on May 3rd at the Santa Clara Convention Center. For more information contact email@example.com.
Business After Hours Mixers
Business After Hours Mixers are periodic networking events with opportunities for members to display their business to a group of Palo Alto Chamber members that come together to network in a social setting. Annually, the Palo Alto, Los Altos and Mountain View Chambers host a Tri-City Mixer but all other are hosted by individual members. Please check the Chamber Calendar of event for more details. For information on hosting a mixer, contact Charlie Weidanz at 650-324-3125 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EPIC Palo Alto, Young Professionals Networking Meetup
EPIC (Emerging Professionals in Commerce) offers opportunities to attend monthly no-host mixers and a variety of special events for Young Professionals who live and work in and around Palo Alto. EPIC is a casual, no-host, networking and social event that takes place at a different restaurant, bar or cafe each month.
Check the Chamber calendar to view and register for upcoming EPIC events. Visit their Meetup site or their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/#!/epicpaloalto/events so see pictures of past gatherings.
Nonprofit Workshop Series
The Chamber offers a series of 6 workshops designed to provide a comprehensive overview of essential elements to help start and grow a successful nonprofit. Classes are intended for nonprofit staff, board members & volunteers and include topics such as nonprofit management, funding, volunteer recruiting and retention, planning and strategy. Sessions are held over the lunch hour or in the late afternoon. Check the Nonprofit Workshop Series page or Chamber Master calendar for upcoming workshops.
New Law for Employers
The full text of the FFCRA can be found here.
The FFCRA is a new federal law that requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two new paid leave benefits for eligible employees affected by the COVID-19 virus in 2020. This applies only to those employees (not already laid off) who are home sick. The leave requirements generally provide paid sick time or paid leave under certain circumstances (as described more fully in the notice poster, link #4, below). The FFCRA also provides tax credits that may help employers provide the paid leave benefits.
The FFCRA helps the U.S. combat workplace effects of COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave, taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The law enables employers to keep workers (who are home sick with COVID-19 related illness and therefore unable to work, even remotely) on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus. The Departmnt's Wage and Hour Division administers the paid leave portions of the FFCRA.
If an employer has fewer than 50 employees and providing the paid leave benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern, the small business exemption may apply. Employers who believe they qualify for the exemption should document why the business meets the exemption criteria unless and until the Department of Labor issues additional guidance on claiming the exemption.
Effective April 1, 2020, employers are required to properly notify their employees of the new FFCRA leave benefits and implement the requirements.
Below are links to important resources that contain compliant employee notices, guidance, and recommendations for employers subject to the FFCRA.
- Department of Labor: COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employee Paid Leave Rights (in English)
- Fact Sheet: FFCRA – Employer Paid Leave Requirements (in English)
- Compliant FFCRA notice poster for private-sector employees (in English)
- Department of Labor FAQ for the FFCRA employee notice poster
courtesy of Montgomery & Hansen, LLP