I was looking back at emails from late February and couldn’t help but laugh at what my biggest worries and gripes were. In one email, I was arguing with a vendor over a $15 price increase on a rental for Taste of Maplewood. In another, I was mad and complaining to a friend that my daughter’s school had shortened her spring break this year. Unfortunately, these aren’t even the most embarrassing but I’ll spare myself the shame.

Since early May, St. Louis County has slowly begun to loosen/lift restrictions to allow businesses to resume modified operation and thus, giving individuals more freedom to gather safely. With each restriction lifted is a host of guidelines that must be adhered to. This has given us confidence to resume some services, meetings, and events. Of course, in doing so, we can’t lose sight of the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 Pandemic which is still with us. With this said, I wanted to give you a status update on the Mid County Chamber of Commerce.

Events: We will begin holding membership events this month, beginning July 7. Most will be outside, and though we recognize that July is traditionally an extremely hot month in STL- we purposely chose an evening time in hopes of cooler weather and a Friday thinking that employers may grant a “casual day”. If at all possible, we strongly encourage you to come dressed for the weather. We are planning one indoor event this month, with the Q3 Membership Lunch. Finally, we are moving forward with our Annual Golf Tournament on August 10th and tentatively speaking, the Taste of Maplewood on August 22nd.

Office Staff- The Chamber Office is open during regular business hours, however, Kelly Klaus, Membership Manager, remains on furlough. At this point, it is only, Jeannine Beck, Executive Director in the office. Occasionally the office is closed throughout the day so Jeannine can attend an offsite meeting and/or if day of vacation has been requested. We strongly suggest that members make an appointment to ensure the office is open and staff is available to meet.

Safety Precautions– Our fundraiser/community events (Taste of Maplewood, Golf Tournament, etc.) will have their own set of safety precautions which can be found on the event website within 2 weeks of the event. For membership events, guests are required to socially distance themselves and wear a mask when entering, exiting, or otherwise moving around the event. Additionally, guests are encouraged to utilize the hand sanitizing station provided by the Chamber. In some cases event registrations will be capped to ensure social distancing is possible.
Most importantly, guests should not attend any gatherings if they’re experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive.

Respect– I refuse to include a long condescending message of “do’s and do nots” to our membership to address the 1% who show poor etiquette and lack of understanding that everyone has a different opinion about COVID-19. We’re all adults – do your part to ensure your neighbors and friends remain safe but also refrain from policing each other’s every move. Have patience with each other, with us, and the process.

Like all of you, we’re moving forward using information that we have today- which changes by the day and hour. The Chamber Board of Directors will remain cautious in moving forward, but also in recognition of the critical days and moments ahead, steadfast and persistent in our efforts to restart the economy. We thank each of you for your support of the Chamber, our community, and each other!