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CHAMBER COLUMN: Support local businesses

I was excited when asked in early March to write a column about the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce.

I then started making notes and outlining what I wanted to cover right away.

Sandy Selvy-Mullis

I wanted to share what a great start we’ve had to 2020.

Then COVID-19 struck and everything changed. Every part of our daily life changed.

Therefore, the column needed to change.

Let me begin by sharing a few things from the original outline. We had a great annual meeting at the end of February and celebrated ribbon cuttings for several new businesses and even hosted a ribbon cutting at our new office location.

We’ve added several new members the first few months of this year and appreciate the continued support from current members that have remained active with us.

We’ve enjoyed incredible experiences with our Leadership Stanly class and its great committee of volunteer leaders.

All of these things were possible with the unwavering support of our active leadership board, wonderful volunteers, committed sponsors and our members.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had to make many changes; however, we continue to promote and communicate to and for our members. There are numerous resources available now and more on the way.

We will continue to share information through our member email list, our social media sites and our website.

We’ve added a resource link to our website (stanlychamber.org/help-during-coronavirus/) with helpful links to find updated business and health resources as well as restaurant listings with take-out and delivery options.

These valuable business links can connect you to resources needed and available right now, including SBA Disaster Loan Applications, North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery for Small Businesses, Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) and Facebook Small Business Grant Program along with other government resource websites.

The resources for the health tab include the Stanly County Health Department, Atrium Health COVID19 Information and links for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We’ve added free weekly webinars for marketing with information for registering available on our website and our Facebook page.

Finally, what can we as consumers do to help?

Buy local gift cards, continue to support businesses with to-go orders, shop over the phone and online, continue memberships and subscriptions.

Leave a review for your favorite businesses, follow them on social media, like, comment and share on their respective posts, tag friends who would like them, sign up for emails.

Send a message, email or call your favorite business and let them know you are supporting them.

Now is the time to remain united and supportive of one another. Through our unity and continued optimism we will prevail in these unprecedented and challenging times.

Let’s keep the faith and stay strong.

If you have ideas, questions or concerns, please contact us at the Stanly County Chamber at 704-982-8116 or info@stanlychamber.org or our website at stanlychamber.org.

Sandy Selvy-Mullis is president and CEO of the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce. Call 704-982-8116 or visit stanlychamber.org.