GWCC Connects WCU Marketing Students to Local Businesses in Need Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

West Chester University’s campus, which has closed its physical location and moved all courses online until further notice.

The Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce just announced they teamed up with West Chester University to connect the university’s marketing students to local businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown.

In September 2019, the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce (GWCC) and West Chester University (WCU) announced their GWCC/WCU Marketing Partnership Program, a collaborative effort designed to pair groups of upper-level marketing students with chamber-member businesses looking for help with their marketing campaigns. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Chester County, this semester’s program was postponed to the fall semester. Despite the postponement, GWCC and WCU decided they still wanted to help local businesses – even those who were not Chamber members – during such sensitive times.

“We wanted to open this idea up to more than our members because this pandemic is bigger than us,” said Mark Yoder, president and CEO of GWCC. “These are unique times, and we know that the only way we are all going to get through this is by helping each other out and doing this together.”

Guided by marketing professor Tom Elmer, WCU students were matched to local businesses, where they then performed an analysis of each business’s needs and developed strategies and tactics businesses can use as they prepare to reopen. Guidance also included consultation and instruction on modern marketing, including creating engaging social media channels and major website updates.

Thus far, a total of 55 WCU students and 26 local businesses have participated, including student Lauren Kilpatrick’s work with West Chester Friends School and student Nicholas Fiedler’s guidance for Wooten Renovation.

“While this wasn’t necessarily our plan for this semester’s program, we are happy with the outcome,” continued Yoder. “We are doing all we can to help our local businesses and local economy so we can keep the greater West Chester region the beautiful and vibrant place people know and love. Our hope is that we will all make it out of this shutdown together and stronger than ever.”

For more information on the Greater West Chester Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.GreaterWestChester.com.

For more information on West Chester University, please visit www.WCUPA.edu.