Highlights from our Chamber Director

Laura Furgurson

Well, this certainly isn’t the topic I thought I would be addressing in our first Chamber e-Newsletter!  Though I am one of the VERY lucky ones who can continue working from home, my priorities have turned on a dime in just a matter of days.  As a certified business coach, I’ve always had a passion for helping businesses and that’s a big reason I took this job a few months ago. I have guided organizations and their leadership through many common challenges and promising opportunities. These past couple of weeks have honestly been harder than the past 30 years combined as a business adviser. As you might relate, the toughest issues are uncertainty, uncharted waters, TONS of information, and nearly hourly change.

The past couple of weeks have been full of ups and downs for our community, including fears and tears, 

some screaming at visitors, cautious laughter, rude comments on social media, sleepless nights, calls to creditors, etc. However, more importantly, our community has come together to help the elderly (e.g. running errands), school kids (e.g. busing meals around town), parents (e.g. offering free child-care), local foodservice providers (e.g. ordering take-out), health care workers (e.g. sewing masks and searching for elastic), and other local businesses (e.g. buying gift certificates). AND… many people are posting funny and sweet things on social media. This friendliness and support is why I moved to the coast over 4 years ago.

I have recently spent much of my time conferring with lawyers, accountants, industry associations, and government officials to understand what’s being offered, and how our businesses and employees can best tap the various resources becoming available. To this end, I’ve sent out frequent email blasts with timely resources and information. We’ve also included these on our website and in this email blast. Posting links is the most effective since many situations are different and support options are evolving as you read this.

Even with years of experience running several for-profit and non-profit organizations, on the surface, what’s being offered is honestly very overwhelming and difficult to understand. I encourage you to look at the information and links we’ve provided, take some time to digest it, then let me know if the Chamber can help further. I am certainly not an expert, but I am happy to talk you through your situation and/or connect you with others that are more familiar with each direction you might choose to pursue.

During these tough times, remember your community and Chamber are here for you. Stay safe and focus on what you can do each day to stay positive and move things in the right direction… avoid focusing on what could have been and/or the worst-case scenario going forward. Please reach out to check-in on your neighbors, friends and local businesses. Most crucially, I encourage you to be kind, understanding and patient with yourself and others.


Take care,

Laura