Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism President Brad Meier offered an update on how preventative measures in the coronavirus outbreak will effect local business. See his Tuesday, March 17 Facebook message here.

He states "a lot has changed" since his address from Monday. And says the elimination of in-person dining at restaurants, bars, and breweries "will have a major impact on businesses here in Owatonna."

A number of restaurants and eating establishments in town will offer to-go, car side pickup, takeout, and delivery. See the list of which businesses are closed and which are offering other options on the chamber's website. You can link to the OACCT home page here.

In Tuesday's Facebook post, Meier suggests businesses contact their financial institution right away if they are limiting their hours or are closing during this period through March 27.

[Original posting from Monday, March 16 is below.]

The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce President Brad Meier shared a message on how the local business community is coming together in this difficult time. You can watch the Facebook Live message here.

Part of the message includes, "On behalf of our board and our staff here, I just want to let you know that the chamber's working hard and really focusing all of our energies on the coronavirus issue and how it's impacting our economy and our community here in Owatonna."

The chamber announced in their weekly Tuesday Talk e-newsletter this week that they are cancelling several chamber-sponsored events between now and April 3, 2020.

  • Business After Hours, Tuesday, March 17 at Spare Time Entertainment
  • Bootcamp, Thursday, March 19
  • Young Professionals social event, Thursday, March 19 at Mineral Springs Brewery
  • SteeleCoWorks employer meeting, Friday, April 3 at Riverland Community College
  • SteeleCoWorks spring job fair, April 22 at Owatonna High School

Meier says, "After a very challenging week, I'm very confident that our business community and community as a whole is going to pull through this. But we know it is going to be a bit of a challenge over the next few weeks."

Meier encourages chamber businesses to reach out to him or the OACCT staff with any needs or concerns. He says the chamber has set up a resource page on their home page, www.owatonna.org. A tool-kit and updates from Dr. Brian Bunkers, MD, President/CEO of Mayo Health System-Owatonna and Faribault are among the resources to be found there.

"At this point we plan to keep office hours here at the chamber normal, 8 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday...We are going to be pushing 'Shop Local' and promoting our chamber gift card program that will keep dollars local."

He stresses that deliveries from local businesses are part of the overall picture, "We know how important this is going to be as people are using social distancing and other techniques with this issue."

Meier says the local chamber will also be in touch with federal and state elected officials regarding other resources to help the local economy.

He closes the message with, "Please keep our healthcare workers, our emergency workers in mind as we go through this over the next several weeks.