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  • COVID-19 Updates

    Below are resources regarding COVID-19 that we encourage you to utilize: 

    Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Page

    CDC Guidance for Business and Employers

    Douglas County Public Health Services Page 

    Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Downtown Development Team Report for Small Businesses

    Wisconsin Department of Economic Development Reopen Guidelines

    Current Update:

    (10/8/2020)

    As you may be aware, there have been a number of Wisconsin specific updates in legislation, expanded funding resources, and COVID-19 related activity in the recent past. We are sending out these updates as they may impact your operations and how your organization interacts on a daily basis. Often executive orders or proposed legislation evolves within days or sometimes hours from when they are released. What we know as of today is outlined below for your awareness.

    1. We’re All In grants - It was announced that over $100 million in additional funding has opened up for Wisconsin Entities, which will include a phase 2 of “We’re All In” grants. We encourage all of our members to review eligibility and apply for these new resources if applicable. You can learn more about this program by clicking here.
    2. Publishing Business/Organization Names – The Evers administration recently announced that they planned on releasing the names of all Wisconsin businesses and organizations that have had two or more employees test positive with COVID-19. Obviously, this creates a public perception issue and could have unnecessary harmful impacts from a consumer behavior standpoint. This has now become a legal issue (WMC v. Gov Tony Evers). At this time, there is a restraining order to stop this action while it is under further consideration until late November.                
    3. The Evers Administration extends the statewide mask mandate – Although this has received significant pushback and legal challenges, the extension of the order still remains in place through November 21st.               
    4. The Evers Administration announced a statewide capacity limit – The statewide capacity limit became effective today, October 8, 2020, at 8 am through November 6, 2020. This order requires all public spaces to limit public gatherings to 25% of a room or buildings occupancy limit as set by the local municipality. For indoor spaces without a local occupancy limit, such as a private residence, public gatherings are limited to 10 individuals. The new order will have the largest impacts on the bar, restaurant, and retail industries. There are a number of exemptions and places/events that this does not apply to as they may not be “open to the public.” The full order can be found here. The administration has also released a Frequently Asked Questions document which you can review by clicking here.

    In addition, as we continue to move forward during the 2020 year, I know we are all growing tired of this pandemic. We want to stress that you should continue to do the right things and perform the same safety and sanitizing protocols that you have had in place since March. Please encourage your employees to do the same actions at home and in their personal lives as they do at work. Studies are showing that the recent increase in COVID-19 positive cases we are currently seeing in Wisconsin is not coming from our businesses or even our tourists. The increases in cases are primarily coming from personal gatherings and small events. Your encouragement could help to keep your employees and organizations safe as well as lessen the ongoing negative impacts of the pandemic at hand.

    Previous Updates:

    (7/30/2020)

    On Thursday, July 30, 2020, WI Governor Tony Evers issued an Executive Order to declare a public health emergency and will be requiring face coverings statewide.  This will overlap with similar mask requirements for many of our members in both Duluth and Superior but will be a new requirement for many businesses outside of these community limits or for organizations that do business in Wisconsin but may not operate in a community with a mask requirement at this time. The order will be effective starting 12:01am on Saturday, August 1, 2020 and will expire on September 28, 2020 or by a subsequent superseding order.

    Executive Order #82 declaring a public health emergency is available here and Emergency Order #1 requiring face coverings statewide is available here

    (7/23/2020)

    On Tuesday, July 21, 2020, the City Council voted to pass a mask resolution for the City of Superior.  The resolution will go into effect on Monday, July 27, 2020, and will require all individuals to wear a face-covering in indoor areas accessible to the public. You can read the full resolution here.

    printable flyer to post on the front door or window of your business has been provided by the City of Superior.  Copies of this flyer will be available in the entryway of the Chamber office as well as at the Government Center in the Mayor's office.  Also available are printable FAQ flyers pertaining to the resolution for both businesses and citizens. If you have any questions regarding the resolution or the materials provided please reach out to the Mayor's office at 715-395-7212. 

    As ever, we will continue to keep you, our members, informed of any updates or information pertaining to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

    (5/15/2020)

    We once again saw many changes this week. On behalf of the Chamber, we want to make sure you take away what you need as well as continue to provide you with resources throughout this pandemic. It is unfortunate that this public health situation has become a political game in our state.  Not only is our economy and your organizations at risk, but people’s lives and livelihoods are more importantly at risk. Our chamber will continue to advocate on your behalf, continue to seek resources, and request as much notice as possible before updated orders/statutes/and guidelines are effectively put into place. 

    On Wednesday (May, 13, 2020) evening, The Wisconsin Supreme Court threw out Governor Evers Safer-at-Home order. Evers said in an interview on Wednesday night “right now in the Badger State there are no orders or restrictions”. This is still the case at a state level.

    In follow up to this action and the lifting of all restrictions, Douglas County Public Health and the City of Superior stated that any business intending to re-open must follow the WEDC guidelines to reopen outlined for each business sector: https://wedc.org/reopen-guidelines/ As of this morning (May 15, 2020), no further document or written statement has been made by either entity to provide guidance.

    We want to point out that the business community is not the enemy in this situation; our businesses, the economy, the individuals on the front lines, as well as those fighting to stay alive are carrying the weight for something none of us could have prevented or seen coming. 

    As each business reopens, we strongly urge you to follow WEDC and CDC guidelines for reopening safely and to create a climate where your customers and employees feel safe to return. You must do what is best for your organization, you, your employees, and your customers. Your customers and the community are evaluating how you proceed through this uncertain time ahead. Your actions will be noticed, may bring legal ramifications, and will impact how the future of this virus plays out as well as its impact on our local economy.   

    We want to assist you in planning a successful reopening. We have worked with and provided guidance to well over 400 businesses since the start of the pandemic to be sure they survive. We are here to assist as you restart, grow, and prosper.

    (5/12/2020)

    On Monday, May 11, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers announced Emergency Order #36.  This new Emergency Order allows standalone or strip-mall based retail stores to offer in-person shopping for up to five customers at a time while maintaining required social distancing practices. All businesses must continue to follow all safety precautions and guidelines as outlined in the original Safer at Home Order.   
     
     
    In addition to the requirements outlined in Emergency Order #36, all essential and nonessential businesses must review and consider the Wisconsin Department of Economic Development guidelines on safe business practices, available here. 
     

    (4/27/2020)

    Gov. Tony Evers today announced another turn of the dial in expanding allowed operations for nonessential businesses, providing even more opportunities for businesses to get back to work in a safe and responsible way. 

    The Emergency Order, signed today by Wisconsin Department of Health Services Secretary-designee Andrea Palm, allows nonessential businesses to do curbside drop-off of goods and animals. This will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, and others to safely open. Today's order also allows outdoor recreational rentals, such as boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs, and other similar recreational vehicles. Additionally, automatic or self-service car washes would be able to operate. All of these businesses must operate free of contact with customers by providing payment options online or over the phone, enact proper disinfecting practices, and operations must be able to be performed by one staff member.

    Today’s order builds upon the last turn of the dial. When the Safer at Home order was extended last week, a number of additional options were made available for businesses to safely serve the public, including:

    • Golf courses were opened this past weekend;
    • All businesses are allowed to offer curbside pick-up, allowing customers to purchase goods online or over the phone from a local store; 
    • Construction businesses can do aesthetic or optional construction work so long as it is performed by a single person;
    • Public libraries can provide curbside pick-up of books and other library materials; 
    • Arts and crafts stores can offer expanded curbside pick-up of materials necessary to make face masks; and
    • Landscaping businesses can do aesthetic or optional lawn care so long as it is done by a single employee. 
    You can read Emergency Order #34 here.  The order goes into effect Wednesday, April 29, 2020, at 8:00 am
     

    (4/16/2020)

    The Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce will continue to monitor the status of the Safer At Home Order regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic.  We continue to advocate on behalf of our membership.  Part of that goal is to provide you with accurate and timely information once it is available. 

    On Thursday, April 16, 2020, The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) at the direction of Governor Tony Evers announced an extension of the Safer at Home order from April 24, 2020, to 8 a.m. Tuesday, May 26, 2020, or until a superseding order is issued.  The order maintains a large portion of the current Safer At Home Order with a few changes.   Some of the changes will allow more businesses and activities to open back up while still maintaining a safe working environment for employees and customers. 
     
    Businesses and activities that will be allowed to ramp up service and operations:
     
    • Public libraries: Public libraries may now provide curb-side pick-up of books and other library materials. 
    • Golf Courses: Golf courses may open again, with restrictions including scheduling and paying for tee times online or by phone only. Clubhouses and pro shops must remain closed.
    • Non-essential Businesses: Non-essential businesses will now be able to do more things as Minimum Basic Operations, including deliveries, mailings, and curb-side pick-up. Non-essential businesses must notify workers of whether they are necessary for the Minimum Basic Operations.
    • Arts and Crafts Stores: Arts and craft stores may offer expanded curb-side pick-up of materials necessary to make face masks or other personal protective equipment (PPE). 
    • Aesthetic or Optional Exterior Work: Aesthetic or optional exterior law care or construction is now allowed under the extended order, so long as it can be done by one person.
     
    We encourage you to read the full order here.

    We know that times are tough, but we are in this together and we will get through it.  We will continue to work with you and for you to find new ways to move forward.
     
    (3/24/2020)

    The Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce continues to monitor the quickly changing situation surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak. We are dedicated to advocating on behalf of our membership, staying up to date as the situation progresses, and providing our community with timely and reliable information as we receive it. 

    As of this afternoon, Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers has issued a “Safer at Home” order for Wisconsin residents, effective 8:00 am Wednesday, March 25, 2020 to remain in effect through Friday, April 24, 2020.  Click here to view the Emergency Order #12, Safer at Home Order. This order prohibits all nonessential travel and business, with a number of exceptions as determined by the Governor and the WEDC.   

    All businesses deemed “essential” are allowed to remain open as long as they meet Social Distancing Requirements to the fullest extent possible as well as follow other guidance. Essential Businesses and Operations shall whenever possible, use technology to remotely do business as well. If there are questions as to what organizations are defined as “essential” further clarification as well as a form to request approval to be designated essential may be found on the WEDC website, here.  

    Relief related resources are developing as we speak at regional, state and national levels. Our Chamber is advocating for these resources to be prompt with the ability to aid all types and sizes of businesses. We will list these COVID-19 related resources on this website.

    We are all in this together.  We are here with you through the both good times and the bad. Please let us know how we can better serve you

    (3/20/2020)

    The Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services announced on Friday, March 20, 2020, that Douglas County has its first confirmed case of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The case is likely associated with travel and the individual is isolated at home and doing well.  Please click here to see the full press release.

    The Douglas County Department of Health & Human Services is updating its website, douglascountywi.org/1124/COVID-19-Updates with important information regarding COVID-19, how it is affecting Douglas County and steps you can take to help halt the spread. This website is being updated regularly and has a timeline of events. The Chamber will continue to follow the lead of the DCDHHS and public health officials. Click here to view their page

    The Chamber continues to encourage you to support our local businesses at this time.  Please consider shopping online, buying gift cards, continuing your subscription, and ordering via delivery. 

    Please continue to let us know how we can better serve you during these concerning times. We remain committed to our members and the community and plan to continue to do all we can in the days to come.

    (Update 3/17/2020)

    Dear friends, colleges, and members of the community,
     
    The global spread of COVID-19 is affecting and will continue to affect every one of us both personally and professionally. One of The Chamber’s key roles in the COVID-19 crisis is to be a reliable provider of factual information. Our key resources provided in our 3/13/2020 update continues to remain the same. Further, we are not a public health organization nor do we wish to imitate one and we don’t want to add to the clutter as you plan and prepare for what lays ahead, so you will hear from us only when we have something important or unique to offer.
     
    At the Chamber of Commerce, we are committed to our mission of advancing the business interest and community growth of Superior-Douglas County as well as to promote our region as a premier travel destination, even in these uncharted waters. We are currently working to support and stabilize our local economies rather than our normal actions of promotion and growth. We are committed to our members and their employees who are already feeling impacts of this outbreak which will only magnify as the days and weeks move on.
     
    Like you, we are paying close attention to the COVID-19 public health emergency as it evolves. We are receiving updates, literally, by the hour at local, state and national levels. Today (3/17/2020) alone we heard from Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services with 
    their announcement to limit operating hours of specific businesses.
     
    How you can respond and prepare:
    Tracking: It is unsure what aid and assistance will come in future days but one thing our businesses/organizations can be proactive on is to track COVID-19 related data. Please try to estimate the correlated impact on your organization, revenues, expenses, staffing as this process continues.

    Support your employees: This can be a trying and stressful time for employees and their families at all levels. Make decisions and actions with transparency. Communicate with employees, and support your employees in whatever ways you can.

    Plan aheadWe are already seeing supply chain complications with expected lags in delivery from weeks to months. Plan ahead and stay in communication with both vendors and customers. Accessibility to physical work locations and the needs of your stakeholders may become an issue as this process continues. Be prepared in case you get sick and need to stay home. Keep enough food, regular prescription drugs, and other necessities on hand in case you need to stay home and are not able to go out easily.

    PreventionProtect yourself and others by washing your hands often with soap and water; covering your cough and sneeze; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. If you or your children are sick, stay home. Do not return to work until you are feeling better and fever is gone for at least 24 hours. Frequently clean all commonly touched work surfaces, work areas, and equipment.

    Support your neighbor: Based on preliminary estimates nearly 100% of our community organizations will be negatively impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak in some form or another. Local small businesses are already seeing a negative impact in these early stages, and tourism is expected to see between 20-75% quarterly decreases in activity over the next nine months. Supporting ALL of the businesses in our community is of the utmost importance during these times. Many significant fundraisers have been canceled in our community which will impact all populations, if you are able to donate the cost of your ticket back to the organizer rather than asking for refunds, please do so. Buy from local stores, online. Support our restaurants via means of delivery and take out options during operating hours. Purchase gift cards to use at a later time. Make donations to local non-profits. Show your support by sharing a positive message with these local businesses' social media. Post/like/share our businesses that choose to remain open, but distant with curbside services, delivery, and to-go options.
     
    Your Chamber’s Response:
    Although our events/functions connect others, educate on relevant topics and create lasting, positive relationships for our members and attendees. Right now, we have already taken the needed steps to follow public health advisories and recommended best practices surrounding the COVID-19 public health emergency. Below are some precautions The Chamber of Commerce has taken to limit gatherings and aid with “social distancing”:

    -Effective 3/17/2020 our Travel Wisconsin Welcome Center is closed to the public until further notice.

    -Effective 3/17/2020 The Chamber has postponed, made virtual arrangements, or canceled our events/functions through the end of May.

    -Effective 3/18/2020 our Chamber Office will be closed to the public. At this time our team will still be available via virtual meetings, phone, and email.

    -At this time we will still host Chamber Restaurant Week (April 13-19) based on government regulations and the ability to stay open during this week. As always we encourage consumers to support the businesses in our community, however, please take advantage of delivery or “to-go” dining for this promotion.

    - We have compiled a list of businesses of all types that are offering curbside services, delivery, or to-go optionsPlease click here for that list.  Please reach out to nikky.farmakes@superiorchamber.org if we have missed any business as we will be updating this list as we know more. 
     
    Please let us know how we can better serve you during these concerning times. We will get through this together. Please be assured that we remain steadfast in our commitment to our members and the community as a whole.

    (Update 3-13-2020)

    Dear Friends of the Chamber of Commerce,

    As the outbreak of COVID-19 or better known as the Coronavirus continues to dominate the news, it is important to remember that at this time the threat risk in Northwest Wisconsin and the greater Twin Ports communities is considered low.  Please take this time to think through vital operations, and to prepare your organization for what you would do should the outbreak reach our community.  This outbreak has the potential to impact the supply and demand for essential goods and services, slow if not stop community resources, as well as create barriers for both customers and employees and their families. Until the control of this situation can be reached, we encourage all organizations to think ahead on how best to prepare, but not to panic.

    Please remember that many of the methods of prevention for this infection are similar to that of influenza or flu viruses commonly seen at this time of the year.  Simple actions, like adequately washing hands, avoid touching your face and mouth, as well as staying home when you are sick are some of the best ways to prevent infection. 

    At this time, the Superior Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce is following the lead of public health officials. Local medical experts stress that the average person suffers mild symptoms when contracting the virus (low-grade fever, cough, intestinal discomfort). Our greatest need as a community is to prevent the virus from spreading to those most vulnerable and those who care for them. Those most vulnerable include chronic lung and heart conditions, diabetes, the elderly, and those with a compromised immune system. It is important to note that our community is in prevention mode through hygiene, not panic mode. 

    The Superior-Douglas County Area Chamber of Commerce is monitoring the situation closely and will update this page with more information as it becomes available. 

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