• COVID-19 Update - A Message from the Executive Director

  • COVID-19 Update - A Message from the Executive Director

    COVID-19 Update - A Message from the Executive Director

    April 8, 2020
    To Chamber Members & Community Leaders:

    As you know, Governor Walz extended the "stay at home" executive order until May 4. Although it did not include major modifications to the current order, it may expand exemptions going forward. At the Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, we champion our businesses and are concerned for the health and wealth of many during this unknown time. We also understand this news will be met with questions and concerns from the business community. We will continue to share information and resources as they come available to us. Please refer to our website as we continue to update it daily.

    We continue to partner with the MN Chamber of Commerce and their message is simple: “The business community is doing its part to mitigate the health risk of this crisis and protect our economy for the short and long term. Balancing the health impact with the economic impact must be part of the equation,” states MN Chamber President, Doug Loon.

    Many of our businesses here in the valley have made extensive adjustments to their operations trying to make payroll, pay their bills, and keep their doors open by flexible and creative changes. Many are unable to do this due to the Governor’s orders. The MN Chamber has taken a proactive statewide approach to obtaining data to continue to work with the Governor and legislators to make sure that businesses are well-represented and can obtain meaningful relief. Please fill out their short survey here. This data will assist with working with lawmakers and the Governor to understand the challenges the businesses are facing.

    One critical step that lawmakers can take is to push back the income and property tax deadlines for businesses. According to a survey of Minnesota businesses, a majority would benefit from delaying these payments (66% from income and 74% from property taxes). The goal is not to advocate for payments not to be made, but time for your businesses to continue to have cash to pay employees, pay benefits, pay operating costs and access federal and state loans and grants. Please add your voice to this effort, if you can.

    Finally, as you may know, the Chamber is a 501c(6) not-for-profit funded by our membership dues and our community events. Due to COVID-19 we responsibility and reluctantly postponed three of our community events, see below. Unfortunately, we also reduced staff hours during this time to address this loss in revenue. As you may have expected, our office is closed, and our team is working virtually. However, we are still here to serve our members and will continue to do so during this trying time. You can reach us by leaving a message at our office that we will return as soon as possible at 651-439-4001, email us, or call my personal cell at, 612-860-0947 at any time.  

    Postponed Events:

    • Community Showcase from April 18 to September 13
    • Chamber Open Golf Tournament from June 1 – August 24
    • Food Truck Extravaganza from June 13 to August 8
    • Several Ribbon Cuttings
    Thank you for all you do by contributing to the economy and our community. COVID-19 has presented challenges unlike many businesses have experienced before. But we continue to be impressed with the innovation, perseverance, and collaboration we have seen during these uncertain times. When our team launched our 2020 campaign, Embrace our Future – A Collaborative Decade, I never thought it would have as much meaning as it does today. There is no way around this, we are in tough times. But we are stronger together and we will persevere.

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

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

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