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A Letter from Pat MulQueeny

President of the Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce

The Eden Prairie Chamber of Commerce is a non-profit, membership-based association that has assisted and promoted local businesses for longer than half of a century. The Chamber’s membership reflects the makeup of Eden Prairie’s strong and diverse economy. Member businesses range from sole proprietors to Fortune 500 companies.

As COVID-19 began to impact our economy, the Chamber sprung into action with daily updates from all levels of government spanning the City of Eden Prairie to the White House. These include information on issues such as business loans, regulations and guidelines regarding changes in operation, challenges businesses are facing, and promotion of local businesses. 

The Chamber further surveyed business owners in late March to better understand the immediate impact of the virus, the shelter in place order, and restaurant closures. The results were dramatic:

  • 30% reported they had lost more than half of their revenue.

  • 63% expected sales to decrease between the ends of March and May.

  • 25% expected further decreases during the second half of 2020.

  • 38% reduced their staff by 25% or more (sole proprietors excluded). 9% anticipated reducing their staff by an additional 25% or more during the second half of 2020. 43% believed these changes would remain permanent.

  • 33% anticipated needing help, while 45% were uncertain whether they would.

Eden Prairie’s businesses are essential to the welfare of our great city. It is crucial they receive support so they can continue paying their employees, vendors, and other operating costs. That is why the government and Small Business Administration have made loans available to help local businesses try to stay afloat. It is also why the Chamber offers additional assistance via social media and other promotions.

There are many ways that residents of Eden Prairie can support our local businesses in this time of crisis as well.

  • Patronize and support businesses that remain open. 

  • Purchase gift cards now for use when businesses return to normal.

  • Tip even more generously than you are accustomed to.

  • Use your credit or debit card instead of cash to fight the spread of germs.

  • Share recent purchases from local businesses and restaurants on social media. Encourage your friends and family to do the same.

  • Share your positive experiences with local businesses in online reviews. This helps their presence on Google tremendously, which is crucial to their success.

  • Encourage government officials to play their role in supporting local businesses.

Our country and its people have weathered many trying times in the past. Just as we endured them then, so too will we weather this national crisis. The people of Eden Prairie are strong, and we must continue to support one another and our businesses like never before. It has been said before, and it has never been more true today – we got this!

Additional information including lists of open businesses and links to federal and state resources are available on the Chamber’s website at epchamber.org.

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