• Time with Larry O, the Chamber's Executive Director

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    DURING THIS TIME OF FINANCIAL CHALLENGE AND SOMETIMES EMOTIONAL STRESS THAT WE’RE ALL NOW EXPERIENCING, I WANTED EVERYONE TO KNOW THAT THE SALINE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND ALL ITS RESOURCES REMAIN AVAILABLE AND, WHILE OUR OTHER STAFF MEMBER IS WORKING FROM HOME, I AM AT THE OFFICE FOR SUPPORT DURING REGULAR HOURS AND BY APPOINTMENT.
     
    OBVIOUSLY, UNDER CURRENT GUIDELINES AND WITH CURRENT SOCIAL DISTANCING PROTOCOLS, TELEPHONE OR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION IS PREFERABLE BUT, I’M HERE TO HELP AT THE CHAMBER OFFICE AS A BASE OF OPERATIONS.
     
    THESE PAST FEW WEEKS AT THE CHAMBER HAVE BEEN BUSY AND DEMANDING.  EVERY DAY WE RECEIVE MORE AND MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION.  IT’S INFORMATION THAT NEEDS TO BE COORDINATED AND COMMUNICATED AND WE’RE ON A CONSTANT LEARNING CURVE FOR HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS UNPRECEDENTED SITUATION.   WE WILL CONTINUE TO MAKE THIS INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO YOU THROUGH OUR WEBSITE, SOCIAL MEDIA, AND OUR EXTENSIVE NETWORK OF OTHER MEDIA SOURCES.
     
    THERE’S NO DOUBT WE’RE ALL CHALLENGED, AND THIS IS A DIFFICULT SITUATION FOR EVERYONE. OUR BUSINESS PEOPLE ARE CHALLENGED SOME MORE THAN OTHERS.   RECENTLY ONE OF OUR MOST IMMEDIATE CONCERNS WAS FOR OUR AREA FOOD PROVIDERS.  SOME HAVE CHOSEN UNDER ALLOWABLE GUIDELINES TO BRAVELY CARRY ON WITH TAKEOUT OFFERINGS WHILE OTHERS HAVE BEEN FORCED TO SHUT DOWN ALTOGETHER.
     
    MANY OF YOU MIGHT HAVE ALREADY HEARD ABOUT OUR CHAMBER’S INNOVATIVE PROGRAM WHERE WE’VE PARTNERED WITH THE SALINE POST.  IT IS WHERE YOU SEND US A NOMINATION AND A CHECK IN SUPPORT OF YOUR FAVORITE AREA FOOD PROVIDER.  I INVITE YOU TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS OPPORTUNITY!  YOU’LL BE PASSING ALONG YOUR POSITIVE THOUGHTS ALONG WITH A LITTLE FINANCIAL SUPPORT TO YOUR FAVORITE FOOD PROVIDER.  YOUR COMMENTS, ALONG WITH YOUR CHECK AMOUNT WILL GO TO YOUR FOOD PROVIDER OF CHOICE AND BEST OF ALL YOU CAN NOMINATE AS MANY TIMES AS YOU LIKE!
     
    A LINK TO THIS INFORMATION IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE ON THE CHAMBER’S WEBSITE ALONG WITH OTHER CRITICAL LINKS YOU MAY NEED.  LOOK TO OUR BLOG FOR THE NOMINATION PROGRAM INFORMATION AND TURN TO THE TAB LABELED ‘COVID HELP’ FOR OPEN AREA BUSINESSES & INFORMATION FOR BUSINESS OWNERS.    FOR OUR OPEN BUSINESSES I’M SUGGESTING YOU FIND THE LINK, PRINT OFF THE PAGE, AND KEEP IT HANDY ON YOUR REFRIGERATOR DOOR!
      
    THE FOOD PROVIDER PROGRAM NOMINATIONS CAN BE SENT TO: 
     
                   THE SALINE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
                   141 EAST MICHIGAN AVE, SUITE B
                   SALINE, MICHIGAN 48176
                                
                   OR VIA EMAIL AT  LARRY@SALINECHAMBER.ORG  WHERE A CHARGE CARD                             CAN BE USED OVER THE PHONE SO BE SURE TO LEAVE YOUR TELEPHONE NUMBER WITH YOUR NOMINATION.
     
    THE CHAMBER ALSO HAS CONCERNS FOR OUR SMALLER AND SINGLE PROPRIETOR-TYPE BUSINESS OWNERS.  NOW MAY BE A GOOD TIME TO REFLECT ON JUST WHAT KIND OF PERSONAL COMMITMENT IT TAKES TO SURVIVE IN A BUSINESS SINGLE OWNER/SINGLE SERVICE PROVIDER ENVIRONMENT AND JUST HOW DIFFICULT THAT MAY BE NOW.   UNDER CURRENT DIRECTIVES, MANY OF THESE FOLKS ARE CURRENTLY CLOSED, BUT YOUR SHOW OF APPRECIATION AND YOUR MENTION OF FUTURE COMMERCIAL SUPPORT CAN BE A LIFELINE. 
     
    FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO’VE NOW FOUND YOURSELVES WITH A LITTLE FREE TIME THESE DAYS, MAYBE NOW IS A GOOD TIME TO SEND ALONG SOMETHING AS SIMPLE AS A BRIEF THANK YOU NOTE TO THESE FOLKS WITH A PROMISE TO VISIT WHEN THINGS IMPROVE.   I KNOW IT WOULD BE WELL-RECEIVED.
     
    ALSO, I’D LIKE EVERYONE TO KNOW ABOUT THE CHAMBER’S KEY FOB PROGRAM.  AVAILABLE AT THE CHAMBER OFFICE, AND FOR A SMALL FEE FOR NON-MEMBERS, THIS ADDITION TO YOUR KEY CHAIN IS A GREAT IDENTIFICATION ITEM TO SHOW SALINE AREA MERCHANTS.  SOME ARE EVEN OFFERING THEIR DEALS WHEN YOU SHOW OFF YOUR SPECIAL CHAMBER KEY FOB.
     
     AS ALWAYS, OUR GOAL AT THE SALINE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, LIKE OTHER CHAMBERS OF COMMERCE, IS TO BE A VALUABLE RESOURCE AND ESSENTIAL CREDENTIAL FOR ALL TYPES OF MEMBER NEEDS.  IT’S THE STRIPES WE HAVE TO EARN EVERY YEAR.  IT’S OUR MISSION, AND WE’RE STANDING BY IT DURING THIS MOST CHALLENGING PERIOD!
         
    IN THAT SAME VEIN, THE SALINE AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS PROUD TO BE PART OF WHAT IS NOW AN EVER-GROWING NETWORK TO DEAL WITH THIS CRISIS.  IT’S A NETWORK MADE UP OF CRITICAL HEALTH CARE WORKERS, FIRST RESPONDERS, ELECTED OFFICIALS, AREA TOWNSHIP AND CITY OFFICIALS, SCHOOL PERSONNEL, CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS, CHURCHES, YOUR CHAMBER’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS, BUSINESS AND CIVIC LEADERS, VOLUNTEERS OF ALL AGES, AND OUTWARDLY CONCERNED AND INVOLVED KEY INDIVIDUALS WHO’VE ALL STEPPED FORWARD TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION.
     
    I THINK IT SHOULD MAKE US ALL PROUD TO BE PART OF A VIBRANT SALINE AREA COMMUNITY AND, FOR NOW, LET’S ALL DO OUR PART TO GET THROUGH THIS BY STAYING AT HOME IF POSSIBLE AND OBSERVING CRITICAL DIRECTIVES IN PLACE.
     
    IN CLOSING ON A SHORT PERSONAL NOTE, I’D OFFER THIS:
     
    “OVER THE YEARS CAROL AND I HAVE MADE MANY FRIENDS AND LASTING RELATIONSHIPS HERE ALL OF WHOM I CARE VERY MUCH ABOUT.  I’VE WORKED HERE, I’VE LIVED HERE, I’VE LAUGHED, AND I’VE CRIED HERE.   I’VE RAISED THREE VERY SUCCESSFUL CHILDREN HERE ALL WHO STILL THINK OF SALINE AS THEIR HOME, AND I KNOW THERE ARE THOUSANDS OF AREA RESIDENTS OUT THERE WHO FEEL AND CARE JUST AS MUCH AS WE DO.  OLDTIMERS HERE WILL TELL YOU IT’S A COMMUNITY FEELING THAT GOES BACK MANY YEARS AND IT CONTINUES TO BE PASSED ON BY GOOD PEOPLE.”
     
     I KNOW WE’RE ALL GOING TO FIND A WAY TO MAKE IT THROUGH THIS.   LET’S ALL LOOK FORWARD TO BETTER DAYS AHEAD!
     
                 -Larry Osterling 
                  Executive Director
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