STILLWATER, Okla. (March 17, 2020) - Our motto for the foreseeable future: Making Lemonade Out of Lemons.
As you all know, times are getting pretty tough. With everyone prioritizing the health and wellbeing of others, local businesses are starting to see an impact on sales and foot traffic. Part of our mission as the local advocate for businesses is to represent the business community in times of adversity. To that end, we are focusing our current and near future efforts on continuing to connect businesses and customers to promote economic growth. We encourage everyone to set up a game plan for supporting local entrepreneurs and want to pass along some good ideas:
Gift cards - Buying gift cards to help boost short-term sales is an easy way to ensure your favorite businesses remain a central part of our community.
Shop online - We know; this sounds strange coming from us, but many of our local retailers and restaurants have online platforms. Their sales also contribute to our local sales tax - a win/win!
Food providers - Purchasing food for take-out/to-go is an easy way to keep your dinner plans while still refraining from meeting in public spaces. If you own a restaurant that doesn't currently provide delivery, we encourage you to look into this option and will help if you have questions about the process. Check with local caterers to see what size group they are willing to provide for, and see if there's a way to help them out, too.
Keep it up - Your subscriptions and membership dues are important to businesses that rely on that revenue to maintain their facilities and overhead costs.
Give a shout out - If you have more time than previously anticipated, spend some it giving your favorite spots positive reviews on Facebook, Google, Yelp, and wherever else you can.
Check in - Small business owners, managers and employees are first and foremost members of our community. Think of a business you love that will be affected by COVID-19, and reach out to see how you can help. Each organization's needs are different, but we can all work together to ensure their viability in Stillwater.
We anticipate the Small Business Administration will provide assistance to a number of businesses affected by the declared state of emergency, but they have not communicated the requirements to apply. We will provide updates as they become available. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber has a few resources to help your business communicate.
We have made the tough decision to postpone all our events through the City's recommended timeframe (until April 6th). At this time, we hope to reschedule tonight's Business After Hours, our annual Agriculture Banquet, and April's Business@Lunch. We will not be allowing attendees at Friday's Legislative Forum but will host our local legislators at 8 a.m. for a Facebook Live forum. You can submit questions through email, Facebook, Twitter, or by calling us at the number below.
Please continue to have patience with other people and organizations as we all navigate an unprecedented phenomenon. We will get through this part, and we'll all get together again when we're on the other side of it. This is Stillwater!