The goal of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is that local business and industry make it through this unprecedented time. Chamber President Brad Meier said in his Facebook Live appearance on Thursday, March 26, "Our goal here at the chamber is to make sure all of our businesses in the Owatonna area, members or not, survive this COVID situation. We want you all to either stay open or reopen at the end of this."

The chamber's website, they have created a central location to go for a multitude of informative links, resources, and marketing ideas. The "Support Local Each & Every Industry" graphic offers 24 ideas for everyone to come together in the effort to keep local businesses viable. Let's highlight just a few ideas here.

Order Take-Out - Many local restaurants are offering carry-out and delivery. Such businesses are on the essential jobs list from the governor. The chamber has a list of businesses open offering take-out and call-ahead services. See the list and grab some food on-the-go. See the list here.

Home & Garden - While staying at home, you have time to check off an item or two on the to-do list. Hardware stores are open. Be sure to practice social distancing and respect the space of the employees. Warmer temps may inspire you to dig in the garden.

Religious Organizations - Your church may be offering a weekly service online, or even daily messages. You could even check in on a service from a previous place you lived. Online giving is available in many cases.

Ag, Fishing, Forestry - For the time being state parks are open and free. And gas is cheap.

Pet Shelter - Some animal shelters are seeking volunteers to foster a pet. In certain cases it might come with free beer.

Personal Services & Care - Purchasing gift cards online will provide income for a local business and give you something to look forward to when conditions allow you to redeem it, also a great gift-giving option.

Family, Civic, Community - Find items to donate or ways to volunteer.

We're in this together. Support each other and give an encouraging word to the hard-working employees stocking shelves and manning the check-out lanes.


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