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Bemidji, MN – May 4, 2020

While the effects of COVID-19 are directly impacting all of us, our local business community is particularly being hit the hardest. For many of our Bemidji area business owners, the inability to open their doors and serve our community has severely limited not only their livelihood, but it is endangering our local economy.
The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce recognizes this and is actively working with local, state and federal partners to find a safe solution for our businesses to reopen their doors. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce is hosting a call with Governor Walz this week and as a federation partner, the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce (BACC) will be a part of that call. “Businesses throughout the state are preparing to fully return to work and taking steps to do so responsibly – we urge our local businesses to do the same,” said BACC Chair Ashley Johnson. “The Minnesota Chamber plans to urge the governor to continue to recognize that businesses can and have designed plans for safe work environments and we will encourage him to allow more businesses to return to work as soon as possible.”
The Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce is here to help our members and will be creating materials to help businesses with a plan to comply with proper COVID-19 reopening efforts. The information will be available on the Chamber’s website under the COVID-19 resource section. We are confident that the members we represent are fully capable of following these measures, all while caring for the lives and health of our community.
“The Board of Directors know that small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” said Executive Director Abby Randall. “Our advocacy efforts continue to be our top priority. If business owners have questions or requests, we encourage them to get in touch with us. We want our weekly Roundtable discussions to help business owners to get actionable insight and information to navigate important government programs and to keep their businesses running during this unprecedented time. We also want it to be a time for peer-to-peer support.”
The Bemidji Area Chamber encourages community members to continue to support our locally owned businesses by ordering takeout or delivery from area restaurants or through the purchase of gift certificates or donations through the Gifts of Hope Fund. These programs, in partnership with our Bemidji Alliance partners, have shined a positive light on the amazing community in which we live. “We would like to thank the Steve and Jill Hill family for helping kickstart the Gifts of Hope Fund, as well as the many other sponsors and volunteers that have made this initiative possible,” said BACC Chair Ashley Johnson.
For more information about the resources the Bemidji Area Chamber of Commerce is offering, visit www.bemidji.org. For more information regarding the Gifts of Hope Fund, visit www.bemidjialliance.org.