BY: RACHEL WUMKES
As the winds of change begin to blow across North Iowa, we seem to be losing more this year than simply the nice weather. With the onset of COVID-19 last spring, we thankfully didn’t have to wait long for patios and open-air spaces to be open where we could distance ourselves from others to enjoy a drink with friends, or a bite to eat.
But now, as the temps begin to drop and that awful four-letter word will soon be in the forecast (SNOW), we will be forced back indoors to endure the long winter months.
This means no more fresh air to help the germs float away. It also means added pressure on business owners as they do everything they can to adhere to codes put in place by the State of Iowa.
In light of a recent violation pertaining to social distancing and gathering of groups inside a North Iowa restaurant, it seems like a fitting time to touch base on the subject. A little refresher course, if you will, on how we can do our part to help keep North Iowa open.
For one, these businesses, especially bars and restaurants, have a laundry list of items they must adhere to in order to remain open. It can be daunting to keep up with it all and still function in a successful manner.
So let’s do what we can to help them out! First, it’s always a good idea to call ahead. Especially if there is an event going on in town or it’s a busy weekend. Second, please follow their rules. It might ‘seem silly’ or ‘unnecessary’ but the rules are in place for a reason. We need to keep our numbers down throughout the county. Not only for the health and well-being of our residents, but in order to remain open.
And I’m not just talking about restaurants and retail stores that will feel the effects if we don’t follow the rules. Do y’all remember what it was like having kids home all day while you attempted to home school?
It. Was. Not. Fun.
I will do about everything in my power to ensure that doesn’t happen again, and I imagine most other parents out there would agree.
So – follow the rules. Be a good customer. These business owners aren’t some giant corporations based in another city. They are our neighbors. Our friends. They are the people who donate money so your kids’ baseball team can order shirts. They are the people who promote community betterment. Who are mentors to our high school kids, and who provide fun activities for our children.
As the holiday season is fast-approaching, remember these businesses when you fill your stockings and purchase presents for your loved ones. Shop from Clear Lake Area Chamber of Commerce members to ensure they keep their doors open through the tough winter. This year has been a struggle for everyone, and every type of business has felt the pressure as consumers adjust their spending due to the pandemic.
Every dollar kept in North Iowa is like giving twice. Because that business owner lives here, too. They might take that income and spend it at another local business. Thus, creating the cycle of an economic boost for our community.
So, let’s keep the holiday cheer here this season. Shop with your heart to keep our member businesses open.
For a complete listing of Chamber Members, visit our directory at http://members.clearlakeiowa.com/list/
If your business would like to be a part of the “Mask Up” initiative, there is still time to get signed up. Simply go to https://www.maskofwellness.com/for-businesses/ and follow the prompts. It’s a win-win situation for your employees, your customers, and you!
And remember… there’s always the option of ordering take-out or delivery, or shopping online for curbside pickup!