Chamber: ‘Help each other out’

Posted on 15 April 2020 by Tesha Christensen

‘We’re all in this together’

by Tesha M. Christensen

The Midway Chamber of Commerce has been calling members to check on how they’re doing, what they need, and what connections they can facilitate.
“At first many businesses didn’t know what they needed yet,” pointed out Chamber Executive Director Chad Kulas. “They were adjusting to a home office and a staff spread amongst their homes. The biggest question at this point is what resources are available to help out.”
The chamber has hosted meetings for property managers where they can talk to one another on how they are working with their tenants. They have also done a few meetings about the Paycheck Protection Program, and send out a daily newsletter updating members on that day’s news. A webpage is devoted to information on COVID-19. It has tips, resources, restaurant information and ways to support nonprofits.
“You could argue everyone is impacted by it in some way since either they are working from home, many in their office are, or their clients/customers are,” said Kulas. “In talking with commercial property managers, most of their buildings are quiet now though you have some who are deemed essential and are at work. I heard Governor Walz say the first week of the Stay-at-Home order that metro traffic was down 79%, so that tells you how many more are staying off the roads. In talking with UPS, they are seeing many more deliveries switched to residential locations as opposed to an office. I also really feel for the local restaurants who are missing out on the coffee meetings, the lunches, the companies catering in for meetings and the happy hours.”
Kulas offers these tips to businesses:“First thing, talk to your bank and find out if you qualify for any of the loan and grant opportunities and if so, which makes sense. Develop a new business plan for the next several months if not the next year, factoring in how this will change your clients and customers’ habits. Also, don’t be lonely – find others to talk to especially others who may be experiencing similar issues. That’s why I’ve been happy we can have a biweekly meeting for property managers.”
He recommends checking out the Ramsey County and state of Minnesota DEED websites for resources. Some of the best available resources have included the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, the Paycheck Protection Program and the city of Saint Paul Bridge Fund (which is taking applications through April 19), according to Kulas.
“We’re all in this together. It’s more important than ever to help each other out where we can. Things will get back to normal!”

2019 Midway Chamber Directory