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Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce continues through the pandemic
GMCC President Brenda Enriquez wants the community to know that they are there to support those struggling through an unprecedented pandemic.
The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce has been collecting resources so local businesses remain in operation through the COVID-19 pandemic – while maintaining Center for Disease Control guidelines.
Enriquez and the GMCC staff have had to limit face-to-face operations, but she stressed that the chamber is still operational and ready for whatever comes their way.
“We’re not going to go down easy, I’ll tell you that much,” Enriquez said. “It’s been good – we knew it was coming so we prepped our team, and we wanted to make sure we would be there for our members, especially in this time.”
When it became apparent COVID-19 would hit the Rio Grande Valley and Mission, the GMCC looked to the CDC for next steps and guidelines to enact.
“We knew there was going to be an impact on how businesses operate,” Enriquez said. “We started limiting who came into the Visitor’s Center, we limited staff and we started looking at the trajectory.”
Businesses of all kinds depend on each other in order to function to their full extent, and the GMCC wants to promote that kind of community support so that after the virus is mitigated, they can continue.
“Every day we want to be a resource and have tools for our members so they can continue to be successful,” Enriquez said. “Any business owner is going to have questions, so we’ve had to learn everything despite the uncertain times and these circumstances. We’re going day by day.”
Keeping the sales tax revenue afloat throughout the pandemic is vital to the well-being of the economy.
“The sales tax revenue is being impacted dramatically,” Enriquez said. “We still need to somehow have some sort of tax revenue open, because that keeps us going.”
The economy is not the only thing at stake – Enriquez noted that several Mission families and members of the community depend on their businesses to stay afloat.
“Anything helps right now,” Enriquez said. “It’s very important to make sure we do what we can to support our economy where we live, because this helps everyone – not only does it help businesses, but we’re talking about families here. For some of these businesses, this is their bread and butter.”
The chamber has recently created a Facebook group called “GMCC Members/Mission Area Take-Out and Delivery Options amid Covid-19,” aimed to show residents available dining options that are owned locally. Restaurants are entities that need help currently, according to Enriquez.
“We have to encourage people to eat local because restaurants can’t use their dining rooms,” Enriquez said. “We wanted to encourage businesses to create takeout and delivery options, and that is different and new for a lot of our businesses.”
The page is not limited to GMCC members – Mission businesses and restaurants across the city are able to post there at this time.
“This one is particular to the Mission area, because if we want to get takeout, we don’t want to go across the Valley,” Enriquez said. “Most of the time, you stay locally, around your area. We want people to share, because someone else might benefit from that.”
Several outside entities have also reached out to the chamber and have been offering their support in keeping local businesses operating in this time. Enriquez said Omar Diaz, with Fossa Creative Circle, has offered them pro bono video marketing work to promote local services.
“He said ‘our business community is suffering, I would be happy to help promote their business through video recording and their takeout options, and if they changed their operations,’” Enriquez said. “He did – he’s not charging because of the situation. It moves my heart. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Enriquez encourages everyone to use the hashtag #InThisTogether on social media to connect with others and show unity in the face of the pandemic.
“The Mission business community is not alone,” Enriquez said. “They have us, the Mission Chamber. We’re here to help and continue to support our small business community.”
The Greater Mission Chamber of Commerce can be reached through email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by phone at (956) 585-2727.