Warren County Citizen,
2020 was an unprecedented year. We could not have shared our resources, been a pipeline of information to our local business community or aided our community without the continued dedication and support from our Chamber members. To all of them, we give our sincerest gratitude and appreciation. Thank you!
The current pandemic completely altered our “normal” ways of life. We all fought against a mysterious disease that does not care who it infects or how much damage it does along the way. For the time being it has us all feeling overwhelmed. The hardships imposed on our local businesses will likely take years to overcome and many businesses have already been lost as a result of mandated closures, restrictions on operational capacity, and in some cases direct impact of the COVID-19 virus on business owners. Large or small, there is not one business in Warren County that has not been impacted by this pandemic.
The road to recovery will not be a short nor easy one.
Yes, these are difficult times, and no one person has the perfect answer as to how we will come through this on the “other side”. But we will come through this. Together. We will once again be able to dine and congregate with our families, friends and neighbors at the favorite local restaurant, attend our chosen house of worship, entertain ourselves at the theatre show and other establishments with joy. It will be a journey that is filled with struggles. Finances will be less intact, new procedures and protocols will be in place, and “normal” will take on another version of life. But our local businesses and their employees will get through COVID-19 if we come together and support one another.
Throughout the crisis, your Chamber of Commerce has tirelessly worked with healthcare leaders, government, and private sector to provide relevant and timely information. In order to address this pandemic and lay the foundation for regained prosperity, we believe there is a direct connection between the current medical and economic crisis, supporting the facts that the two groups go together and must be equally solved in tandem. We do not believe it to be prudent to expect or rely on government, at any level, to replace what has been lost by our local businesses.
There continues to be uncertainty as to what 2021 will look like from a business perspective. It is not just important to the business owners and employees that local businesses get back on their feet, it is equally important to our community’s citizens.
The community plays a major role in ensuring this happens. The owners of these businesses have proven their commitment to their business and us. Warren County has also stepped up in support of these businesses, a tradition that simply needs to continue.
Keeping our Warren County citizens healthy and employed is our goal. Until this pandemic’s uncertainty is removed from our everyday lives, developing recovery plans is virtually impossible. However, in 2021 we will continue to fight the pandemic and its impact on our personal and professional lives. We will once again come together and enjoy one another’s company.
If this atypical year has taught us anything it would be this: Support local, always.
Stay in touch with what is happening at the local, state and federal levels, particularly regarding business assistance programs and tax relief opportunities.
Be aware of and apply for assistance as needed. The WCCBI will continue to announce programs as they are released through our social media and webpages. On-line buying is not restricted to the Amazons of the world, take time to enhance on-line presence and capabilities as our everyday world changes.
Ask for help. It is safe to assume that every business is in a similar situation as you and no one will know how to help if you first do not ask for it.
Join the Chamber. It’s a very self-serving statement for our staff to make, but the staff of WCCBI will help you stay informed, stay connected to local events and resources, get your name and your goods and services to current and new customers, and continue to be here answering your questions. The cost is minimal, the return is significant. If you engage with us and utilize our resources, tools, and opportunities provided through membership, we can help guarantee that you not only survive but you thrive.
We take this time to be grateful for our “Frontliners”, which is broader than we think.
It includes all the folks in the health and medical professions, our local first responders, nurses, doctors, and all assisted living/nursing home facilities and their staff. It also includes those who work in our grocery stores, pharmacies and the truck drivers supplying our local businesses with our goods. It includes our education system, the teachers and staff of the Warren County School District, who are trying to educate our youth through a tidal wave of current obstacles. To the food industry trying to feed us all amongst the roller coaster ride of restrictions being thrown at us, from the school cafeteria employees to the food bank volunteers. All the way down to our manufactures in the business industry. And for you, Warren County citizen, for the continued dedication and support you have given to one another. We call this place our home and it is you that drives us to succeed and be proud of that statement.
We might all be feeling that this crisis is indestructible, but it is not. As we look back on 2020, we reflect from where we came and hope for a brighter future tomorrow. We are here for all of you and encouraged seeing our citizens sharing resources and goods to those in need. We ask that everyone practice patience and understanding in the year to come and, as always, support local.
Staff of the WCCBI
Chamber Chart: Top 21 in 2020
- Warren SBG
- Frontline Assistance Fund
- Operation Restaurant Rescue
- Warren Gives
- Shoe-box Parade
- New Partnerships Made: Warren County Guide, Your Daily Local, Media One, Lilly Broadcasting
- PPP Delivery
- Mandated shutdown
- Wearing, or not wearing, a mask
- County wide lay offs
- Business start-ups during the pandemic
- CareerLink Doorbell
- COVID vaccines
- Best Dam Graduation 2020
- Virtual Learning
- Helping Hands, Warren PA Facebook page
- WCSD meals & the volunteers/staff that made that possible
- Industrial Softball Tournament
- Contactless Halloween
- 4th of July Saved
- County Fair Cancelled