• A Message from the Executive Director - COVID19

  • A Message from the Executive Director - COVID19

    A Message from the Executive Director - COVID19

    March 26, 2020

    To Chamber Members & Community Leaders:

    I have never been so proud to work at the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce and serve this remarkable community. Our Chamber has been a staple in the valley for 129 years. I took this position four years this April 1st, no fooling, and we have continued to grow and shift our focus to be a stronger community together. However, COVID-19 is testing our patience, and during this national healthcare crisis, the collective chamber community across the world is leading the charge in driving plans for business preparedness during the pandemic and the economic recovery and growth that must, and will follow.
     
    For over 400 years, chambers of commerce around the world have been champions of free enterprise, job creation, business promotion and community response. Our mission, “we are an inclusive organization that serves, advocates, and promotes the interests of businesses while enriching the life of our community” is everything our team is working on in these unprecedented times.
     
    I have been on conference calls the past two weeks with the U.S. Chamber, MN Chamber, Metro Chamber of Commerce Council, government entities, lawmakers and community leaders to stay on the forefront of COVID-19 and its effects on the business community. We have created a few forward-thinking campaigns to assist our businesses such as The Great Valley Take Out Rally Facebook Page, A Chamber Members Unite Facebook Page and currently working on an Essential Business Resource Guide for all businesses in the St. Croix Valley that would like to participate. This guide will be disseminated in the community providing consumers detailed information about temporary business models and situations due to the state at home ordinance.   
     
    Finally, we are starting a Business Recovery Committee in the next week to proactively address what the outcome of this will be. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact me at director@greaterstillwaterchamber.com. As we emerge from this pandemic, it goes without saying that there will be lasting impact to our economy. So, we must plan today for a robust economic recovery. It is during this time where chambers can make the biggest difference in a community.
     
    A few important highlights for businesses:
     
    We have created a COVID-19 webpage with resources and links we are updating every day.
    NEW: Guidance on the Stay at Home Order
    NEW: MN Critical Businesses List
    NEW: Stimulus Bill 3.0 Update: US Senate overview of the Federal CARES Act
     
    Washington County’s Open to Business staff (Tyler Hilsabeck, Business Advisor) has asked us to pass along his contact information to our local businesses as his offices provide free financial and business planning services to our community.  Additionally, Tyler is a point of contact for the State of Minnesota Small Business Emergency Loan program (https://mn.gov/deed/business/financing-business/deed-programs/peacetime/). Tyler can be reached at:  612-789-8838 (work) 312-402-6954 (cell) thilsabeck@mccdmn.org
     
    Your investment in the Chamber is more important than ever right now. We are a 501c(6)      not-for-profit funded by membership dues and community events. The bridge between business and community has never been more vital or prevalent during this time of fluctuation and resilience; and while our members and business community come first, we as a Chamber are also assessing our strategic plan, how we are managing our postponed events and programs, and the shift in the focus of our work to continue to sustain and support our community. A sponsorship is a wonderful opportunity for advertisement, marketing and show of support and we welcome your sponsorships today. Please reach out if you are interested and I would be glad to walk you through the opportunities.  
     
    COVID-19 has been humbling for all of us in a way we never would have imagined anything could. Yet together, we will stand strong, because we are all in this together. We will come out of this stronger, kinder, and richer as a community, and this will be a distance memory. This community will prevail together! More than ever, serving you is not an obligation, it is a privilege.

    Please contact us with any questions or suggestions you may have. We are here to serve you!

    Warmest Regards,
    Robin
    Robin Anthony, IOM
    Executive Director
    Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce

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