We have experienced more difficult adjustments in the last three weeks than we are likely to see for the rest of our lives.
Closures, layoffs, reductions, forced isolation and worry have permeated our personal lives as well as our businesses. Heartbreak and tears have been shed, and the anxiousness of the unknown seems to overcome us at times, but I believe it is amid chaos that our humanity starts to shine. I have had the opportunity these past few weeks to attend countless meetings both virtually and by phone, and I am humbled by the fortitude of the human spirit. The creativity, support and wisdom that people have brought to the table has astounded me. In a time when we should be brought to our knees, I have never felt greater hope. It's what keeps me going; it's what reminds me that we are going to get through this together.
I wanted to share this with you and encourage you that the Oregon City Chamber is working tirelessly to support our members in any way we can. We are advocating, collaborating and meeting with county commissioners, state reps, economic development professionals, the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce, other chamber execs, area business leaders and local businesses. Through careful reading research and analysis, we have gleaned the most applicable information and programs to assist you in these troubling times. This information is continually being updated and renewed on our website and weekly newsletter. Some of these initiatives include the activities that you have asked us to share, opportunities and links to federal and state assistance programs, and links to continue shopping local. These are only some of the programs we are currently working on, and there are many more on the horizon.
So, what can we ask of you? Please engage with us at oregoncity.org and sign up for our emails if you haven't already. We are trying to give you essential information promptly. Please take the surveys. Many agencies and organizations need information quickly; they need to hear your stories to advocate for you in the shortest time possible. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram — and post your likes and comments to keep the information in front of the public. If your businesses are open and you are serving customers for pick up or delivery, give us your hours and the best way to interact. We will post as many as we possibly can and hopefully direct business your way.
Yes — these are some of the hardest economic times we will probably ever experience. Yes — the unknown is scarier than we feel prepared for. Yes — it will not be easy to find a simple answer to our current situations. But we are Oregonians. We hold in our hearts the culture of the pioneers who, against all the odds, traveled to the edge of the world and not only settled but flourished. We can certainly find our way back to normalcy when this is over. I believe in you — I know we can do it!
Victoria Alley Meinig is CEO of the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce.
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