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‘Rising above’

Chamber doing what it can to help businesses

The rain soaked streets of downtown Webster City were nearly empty Thursday afternoon as area restaurants, the movie theater and other businesses adapt to public health regulations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Help is available from the Small Business Administration, according to Chamber of Commerce officials.

The Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce is doing whatever it can to help support the local businesses during this time of uncertainty with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m constantly checking with the CDC seeing what new things we’re finding out about COVID-19,” said Melissa Miller, membership director for the WCACC. “I have been in contact with the governor’s office trying to find out when small business assistance is coming.”

Miller said she has received confirmation from the governor’s office that assistance for small businesses is coming soon, but that the exact time frame is not clear.

“Anything that we can do to help, we’re actively trying to do,” Miller said.

When restaurants were forced to close their lobbies and dining rooms earlier this week, the chamber began sharing information on its Facebook page on which local restaurants were staying open and offering delivery and takeout. Miller put together a guide with the information of which restaurants are delivering and open for carryout.

“Times are tough right now, however I feel like they’re rising above it and we’re doing everything we can to help them,” Miller said.

It’s the community that is going to help these small businesses – and not just the restaurants – survive this crisis, Miller said.

“We have a very good community, a very good small business community and I feel that if we all work together to lift them up at this time that we will definitely overcome this,” she said.

Small businesses also have the option of applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the Small Business Administration, which is a low, fixed interest rate loan with terms up to 30 years.

Small businesses can contact Hamilton County Emergency Management Coordinator Tim Zahn at tzahn@hamiltoncounty.org or 515-832-9518 for more information.

Miller said she is still actively searching for more resources to help small businesses during this time.

The Webster City Area Chamber of Commerce is remaining open at this time, however its visitor center and front lobby are closed until further notice.

Those with questions and concerns can call the chamber at 515-832-2564 or email webstercitychamber@gmail.com.

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