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POW Chamber Notes During Covid-19

We are living in interesting times, and the way we do business now is not at all how we are accustomed to doing business. The Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce is still open for business (although we are not in the office) and we are still looking at ways to assist the businesses and members on our Island.

POW Chamber Board members have been participating in teleconferences with the Small Business Association, the State-wide Chamber and even with our Congressional Delegation as we struggle to keep up with the rapid changes that are impacting our daily lives. We take notes, and post those on the Chamber Blog for the benefit of our members as well as the residents of Prince of Wales.

There are many industries that are being impacted by the COVID 19 Health Mandates that have been set by Governor Dunleavy. The Tourism businesses are certainly the most visibly impacted. Most lodges and charter businesses are seeing nearly 100% cancellations – at least for the next 2 months. Perhaps we can salvage the later part of the summer if restrictions are lifted. One major impact will be with the closure of most Forest Service facilities, including cancellation of ALL El Capitan Cave tours for the summer.

The Fishing Industry is also greatly impacted. At this writing, the Southeast Conference Seafood Maritime Committee is organizing mini discussions with municipalities and reps from their local seafood industry. With the Health Mandate 17 Protective Measures for Independent Commercial Fishing Vessels which will require all vessels arriving in Alaska to quarantine for 14 days this will impact our harbors and processing plants. One suggestion for Harbormasters might be a handout to each arriving vessel outlining both the State Mandates as well as Municipal health rules. You can contact Southeast Conference for more information.

The largest impact from the COVID 19 will be on our municipalities. The loss of revenue from sales tax, bed tax or even just the economic stimulus that outside money brings to our communities can be devastating. As we navigate through these new times here are a few thoughts for helping to cope with our new normal. These suggestions come from the American Red Cross:

1. Substitute the simple thing you long for with something that is good about your new situation. I realize that this isn’t easy, but as one example, when I think of how terribly I miss my parents, I remind myself of how grateful I am to be spending more time with my fabulous husband.

  1. Perform small acts of kindness. We’re all humanitarians. Let’s all try to reach out with small acts of kindness – a thank you email, a “thinking of you” card, a phone call to express gratitude, or even a funny meme.

  2. Do something each day that is totally escapist. Whenever you feel the need, just stop everything, and do an activity that completely takes your mind off of COVID-19. Going for a quick walk or planting some seeds for the garden is what I tend to do.

  3. Call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while. I have a regular phone tree of people I call every few days, and it has been fun to re-connect!

We are living in a time when we all realize how important relationships are. This is a great time to reconnect, catch up and tell your friends and family that you miss them and that you look forward to seeing them when the crisis has passed.

Written by Director Karen Petersen

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