I am writing this column on Sunday, as I usually do. It’s then sent to The Observer News. But you won’t be reading this until Wednesday or Thursday, so some things may have changed. This situation we are in is so fluid, that I assume something will change. I apologize in advance.
I could give you advice on how to stay calm and relax. But what works for me, may not work for you. I could tell you about the medical side of this virus, but I am not a doctor — and I think we’ve all learned enough about this virus from watching the news. We’re already experts.
So instead, I wanted to talk to everyone from the chamber’s perspective. It’s our mission to support business and economic development. While that is a tall order in this current environment, we are collecting and sharing every local, state and national bit of relevant information we can find with our members. And since we are members of the Florida State and United States Chambers of Commerce, we have access and influence way beyond our borders.
We’re collecting information on how to apply to the SBS for loans, how to apply for unemployment benefits, whatever helps.
And at this point, the chamber office is open for business, although we’d prefer helping everyone via phone. Despite what’s going on, your air conditioning may go out, your taxes are still due — even though they are delayed for now — or you may be so sick of your own cooking that you need the closest take-out restaurant. We’ve got you covered. Our members can take care of you. Just give the chamber a call at 813-634-5111.
And finally, we need to share the good, unexpected, surprising stories. We’ve got to share the goodness that’s still in our community. Tell me about the neighbor who brought you your groceries; about the kid down the street who left you an “I miss you” card. I’m trying to find the guy who brought his puppy to the very long line in Home Depot. One look at that pup, and we stopped complaining. So, email your stories to me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Sun City Center Strong,” and I’ll share them every week. Just remember, nothing spreads faster than a virus — except hope.
Lynne Conlan is Executive Director of the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce. Call her at 813-634-5111, or email email@example.com.