Message from the Chamber President Tensley Garris

Message from the Chamber President Tensley Garris

As the temperatures fall and the days grow shorter, it’s hard to believe that it has been six months since the COVID-19 pandemic turned our professional and personal lives upside down.  We have all had to adapt to doing business in very different ways, and the effects will be felt for years to come.  At our recent Economic Outlook Breakfast, our guest speaker suggested that we have passed the worst of this sudden recession, but that recovery will be a slow process with many hurdles along the way.

In that spirit, I hope we all recommit ourselves to supporting local businesses whenever possible.  Our stores, restaurants, and service providers have worked tirelessly to stay open and keep their employees working.  If we as residents want to live in a vibrant community with lots to see and do — not to mention a healthy tax base — it’s up to us to patronize local businesses.  Check out this story on Northbrook Court to learn how one of our leading economic engines is doing all they can to remain viable in this incredibly challenging time.

Adding to the difficulties we faced this summer was the painful loss of our dear friend, Paul Kaufmann, following a heart attack.  The founder and owner of Shred Spot, Paul was a uniquely engaged Chamber member who served as an Ambassador, a Board member, and a supportive mentor to many small business owners.  He was always the first to step up to help in any situation, leading him to being recognized as Chamber Volunteer of the Year.  His dedication also extended to a variety of community causes, including North Shore Helpers and Hunger Free Northbrook. The Chamber was fortunate to benefit from Paul’s energetic and generous spirit.  He will be greatly missed.

In the months ahead, the Chamber is here to support your business with referrals, networking opportunities, marketing assistance, and more.  Please let me know if we can be of any help.  I look forward to seeing you at First Friday or one of our other upcoming virtual events!