For the first time in months, Monticello chamber of commerce director Marcy Anderson had an opportunity to make in-person visits to businesses across town.
And while Anderson used the visits to take the pulse of local businesses, she had an equally important task at hand.
Anderson was distributing disposable face masks to businesses as part of Governor Tim Walz’ mandate to Minnesotans to “mask-up” when visiting businesses throughout the State.
The state’s chamber offices were designated as the point of distribution for the four million face masks being distributed to businesses across the state. The purpose of the shipments is to help businesses provide masks to customers who might forget to bring one to their businesses.
“The State wants businesses to be open,” Anderson said. And to be open, business employees and customers need to wear masks.
In Wright County, the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce coordinated the mask distribution, Anderson said.
She picked up 10,000 masks on Monday, July 27. The mask distribution was so successful, that by Wednesday, July 29, she was down to 2,000 masks. On Friday, August 1, Anderson was in Buffalo picking up another 4,000 masks, she said.
The majority of businesses visited by Anderson were receptive to accepting masks and was appreciative of the fact that the State didn’t want them to lose business.
There was hardly a business visited by Anderson that wasn’t supportive of the mask distribution.
“From manufacturers to medical, from retail to restaurants, everyone was supporting it,” Anderson said.
“And most were so thankful,” Anderson said. “They were beyond surprised and grateful that the masks were being made available.”
Others were surprised to see a Chamber representative distributing masks throughout the community- not just to Chamber members.
“But this is about helping everyone,” Anderson said. “We’re a community.”
But to those who are Chamber members, Anderson used the mask distribution as a tool to check in on members of the Chamber community.
“Just because we had to cancel many of our events doesn’t mean we’re not here for you,” Anderson said.
Throughout the shutdowns and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Monticello Chamber of Commerce has remained working tirelessly for its members, she said.
Last week, that included distributing about 14,000 masks throughout the Monticello community.