If you have gone this far into stay-at-home and not downloaded Zoom video conferencing to your device, now might be the time to take the leap. The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism is hosting a virtual Business After Hours on Tuesday, April 28 at 5:30 pm. Sing up through the chamber at 507-451-7970. Find out more on the chamber's website.

You will be sent a link after you sign up. The chamber invites you to grab some grub-on-the-go to enjoy during the virtual get together. Go here for the list of restaurants open, their hours, and phone numbers.

Chamber President Brad Meier was a guest on the KRFO Talk of the Town program Friday, April 24. "For us at the chamber right now, 100-percent of our efforts are trying to help businesses get through this pandemic. We want everyone to come out the other side able to open their doors again or stay open."

He cited several developments that can provide relief for businesses, including more money flowing into the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program. He encourages businesses to get applications to their bankers if they haven't done so already.

Meier said, "We've been talking to Steele County for the last several weeks. And (Thursday) they approved an extension on property tax payments without penalty. You can pay anytime up until July 15 without penalty."

He suggested people visit the chamber's Owatonna Stronger Together Facebook page for 'good news' stories from around the community.

Meier is urging businesses to take the chamber's online survey for their needs assessment for local business.

The Owatonna Chamber of Commerce will conduct an open forum, also through Zoom, on Thursday, April 30 at 8:30 am. The presentation is titled, "Navigating Change During the Time of COVID-19 for Small Retail Businesses." Register through the chamber's website or call 507-451-7970.