It has been a little slower around town these past couple of weeks. It seems like the increase in numbers of positive COVID cases has caused more residents to stick close to their homes.
While we hope that will help the numbers to drop, we also feel the pain of the businesses impacted – especially with the recent directives from the governor that limits hours for bars and casinos, numbers of tables in restaurants to 50%, and group sizes down to 25 or less.
If you can, order take-out or have your food delivered. It will certainly bolster the restaurants who need at least 50% occupancy just to break even.
If you want to do your holiday shopping and are leery of too many customers, you can always go during morning hours or mid-afternoon when the foot traffic is lighter.
I saw a meme the other day that said it all: “Remember those businesses that sponsored your event, sport, or program?...well, it’s time…they’re calling in the favor.” Shopping and patronizing our small local stores will ensure that they stay in business and are able (after COVID) to once again donate or sponsor locally. To help promote shopping local, the city is offering free parking downtown on Fridays until Christmas.
In the strip mall where Leslie’s Hallmark is located along 11th Avenue, the Clay Guild and a business called Hammer and Stain will be locating. Not much information at this time but stay tuned. There are also rumors of a restaurant possibly going into that facility. But nothing concrete at this time.
Also in this location, the Dive Bakery has recently expanded and is open. They were not available for an interview but we will get more on this soon. In the meantime – stop by and get some of their famous baked goods or some homemade soup.
Starbucks is moving forward with plans to locate a new building on the west corner of Sanders Street and Prospect Avenue (Capital Hill Mall property). This will replace their location across the street. Plans indicate this will be done in mid-winter (March-April). The new streets (Sanders and the cross street) through the former mall property have been recently paved.
Student Assistance Foundation has now created Workmosis. They have adjusted their scope of work to offer business advisory and operational services. Their website is www.workmosis.com . Scott Todorovich is the president/CEO and has a talented team of specialists ready to help your business optimize performance and manage your finances.
In these challenging COVID times, they may be able to help your business weather the impacts of unstable business climates. Small businesses, government entities, and nonprofits who are encountering challenges daily should give them a call for a consultation.
Their list of services include: strategic planning, executive services, financial management, database services, data analytics, HR management, technology solutions, document management, sales and marketing, digital and web strategy, social media management and operational efficiency. Call 406-603-4730 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The need for housing remains very high in Helena, especially affordable house. The city is working hard on their Affordable Housing Resolution (recently passed by the city commission), which will possibly benefit from a Housing Trust Fund. They also are establishing another Urban Renewal District around the old Capital Hill Mall area that will make tax increment financing (TIF) funds available for housing efforts.
The city has recently received a major subdivision application for a residential subdivision on the Westside of town. The application indicates that there are over 150 housing units to be built, a mixture of both single and multiple family units.
We have three weeks left in the Chamber’s 20 for 2020 where you can win $100 for shopping locally and sending us a selfie with the name of the business. The business you shopped in can win an e-blast email from the chamber worth $250. Let’s see your selfie this week.
Cathy Burwell is president/CEO of the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce.
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