• Santa Maria Valley Chamber Statement on COVID-19

    As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread world-wide, people and organizations are making decisions in the face of ever-changing details and unknown impacts. In addition to the disruption of our normal routines, one of the more significant impacts of COVID-19 will be reduced economic activity in our community.

    Your local business community is concerned. The businesses that operate in the Santa Maria Valley do more than work here, they and their team members live here and raise their families here; naturally their first concerns are for their families, neighbors and friends. The bedrock of any community is health and safety, and first and foremost we want both for our community.

    As champions for our community and a catalyst for business growth, the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce is concerned about the impacts this situation will have on our local businesses.  As fewer people visit our community or attend events in the region, or as less of our locally produced products get shipped internationally, or as we collectively cut back on our visits to local establishments, there will be real and measurable impacts on our community. From the potential for lost jobs or reduced work hours, to the ability of local businesses to support community organizations and events, we are concerned about serious and potentially long-lasting impacts to the Santa Maria Valley.

    Times like these are when communities can and must rally together and help each other to get through the challenge. As we all make our individual decisions over the next weeks and months, we encourage everyone to consider the following:

    • First, help make sure our community stays healthy. Follow the guidelines of good hygiene and preventative measures, and look to the guidance of public health officials.
    • Those of us who are healthy should continue to live, work and participate in our community. Continue to visit local restaurants and local merchants.  If you are nervous about eating out, pick up a to-go order; many also offer delivery services, either directly or through third-party apps. Purchase gift cards for later use. Your patronage will help keep your neighbors employed and keep resources circulating in our community.
    Many businesses have made significant changes to their operations to ensure the health and safety of their employees and their customers.Examples include extra cleaning, changes in customer contact protocols, and proactive screening of employee health.
     
    Additionally, if you have the resources to do so, continue to give to your preferred community and charitable organizations as they will likely see demand for their services increase as they serve our community.

     

    • If you are a business owner or manager and are looking for resources to stay current on new recommendations and best practices, visit the Coronavirus Resource page on the Chamber’s website (https://santamaria.com/coronavirus-resources).   As we identify credible, reliable information, we will continue to update this page.
    The coming weeks will be unique and challenging.  However, we are confident that our community will get through this by pulling together and supporting one another, and by making individual and collective decisions in a calm, fact-based way.