Advancing the Prosperity of our Member Businesses and the Vitality of the Area.
Tuesday, August 18, 2020

After Hours at the Fair this Friday!

Join the Chamber along with hosts Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Advantage Real Estate, Block Plumbing & Heating, Cash Wise Foods and Steele County Free Fair on Friday, August 21, 2020 at the SCFF Beer Garden starting at 5:30 pm. 
The drawing is at $200 in chamber dollars!  Bring a door prize to promote your business!  No registration is needed. 
(Face covering required to enter building and may be removed when seated at table with food/drink)
$10k Grant Program Coming to Owatonna Small Businesses 
  • $1M will be put in a fund to make grants to small businesses in Owatonna through CARES Act dollars from both the city of Owatonna and Steele county.  
  • Criteria for the grants are being finalized, but indications are that businesses of 50 employees or less will qualify if they had negative impact from the pandemic.
  • Expect more details about how to apply before the end of August.

Connecting Across Generations, YPro Lunch 

Join the Young Professionals for a lunch & learn on Thursday, August 20th at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. Virtually on the topic of "Our Generation: Learning to Communicate More Effectively Across Generations", by speaker Diane Amundson.  

This will be a ZOOM meeting, with a link sent to you after registration

Register Here
  • Do you need additional FREE masks?  Have you used the one (1) box of 50 disposable masks that you picked up at the Chamber office?  More than 24,000 masks have been distributed, but we still have more so stop down for another box.
  • Candidate forums will take place each Monday in October and first Monday in November.  Details soon.
  • Free piece of cake!  Linda Escobedo at The Kitchen Restaurant (329 N Cedar) is celebrating 45 years of business with cake from 9a-2:30p on Wednesday, Aug. 19th. 
  • MN Department of Transportation to close Steele Co. RD. 16, Dodge Co. RD. 3 after Dodge Co. RD. 1 reopens August 18 for Highway 14 expansion project. 
  • Steele County and City of Owatonna area creating 2040 Transportation Plans.  They need your input!  You can take a survey or register for the Virtual Open House from August 24 - September 4 for Owatonna  by clicking HERE or Steele County by clicking HERE.  

Retail Rebounds Nationally

How did this happen? Those three months of strong growth propelled retail sales to their new high. The quick turnaround is impressive because retail sales had fallen more than 22% from their previous high in January to their recent low in April. Retail sales are now more than 1% higher than the January level.
The fast rebound in retail sales is good news, but it is important to keep in mind that the U.S. economy is mostly made up of spending on services now. Retail sales represents spending on goods. Spending on services is lagging spending on goods, so total consumption is not recovering as quickly as retail.
What's next: The resilience of consumer spending on goods is encouraging for a strong recovery for the entire economy, but the recent uptick in virus cases and the expiration of extra unemployment benefits could temper spending some in the coming months.
(Source: US Chamber of Commerce)
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