Focus Regional Winter 2020 | Community Column: Artesia

Headers 2020 FoReg Winter3

In my nearly 15 years as the Artesia Chamber of Commerce director, never would I have imagined a year such as 2020.

Yes, the community has had its economic swings, political swings, good times and bad. But, none of us could have foreseen this…2020.

“Wherever You Are, Support Local Business.” As we moved into a shutdown early in the year, we felt compelled to encourage everyone to support local businesses. We know that not just in Artesia, local business is the backbone of any community. We would encourage anyone to shop local wherever they live or visit. Local businesses usually represent a family, neighbors, friends, and supporters of community activities. Try to imagine your community without them.

When you support a local business—whether you’re making big purchases for your home, buying gifts for others, or just picking up lunch and a soda—share it on social media, brag about your local businesses. Use “lovethelocal” and see what kind of love we can share.

“We Are All Essential.” Remember when our workforce was divided into essential and non-essential? We understood what our state government was trying to do to stop the spread, but we still say we are all essential. Our small businesses are critical to our community and our economy. Non-profits are crucial in providing support to those in need, particularly in tough times like these.

“Back the Blue.” We chose this year to partner with several of our member businesses to support our law enforcement in a time when the men and women protecting our communities are underappreciated or just plain disrespected. J & J Home Care led the charge to show our thanks to local enforcement, we the Chamber of Commerce, joined in. Our law enforcement does their best to protect our businesses, homes, and communities.

“Just. Go. Vote.” As our summer ended, the election season heated up. We have been registering voters and encouraging people to make their voices be heard. It has never been more important to participate in the process of sharing our opinions with elected officials and being a voter to help determine who will shape the policies that affect our lives, livelihood, our economy, and future. We are proud of our community for stepping up to the polls in a big way and are pleased to be part of the process of registering and encouraging voters.

“2020 is Shot.” As our calendar year ends, we like to say, tongue in cheek, that 2020 is shot. It has been a different kind of year. And, yes, we worry about our community. But, we have learned a lot. We have experimented with new ways to communicate through Zoom. We have taken advantage of many virtual learning opportunities that may not have been available to us before this year. We have become more engaged with our state government to understand and weigh in on the pandemic’s political process. But, most of all, we have gotten back to the basics. While in other years, we were busy planning events. In a relatively eventless year, we are reminded that our local small businesses and the families behind them matter most. Without them, there is no “us.”

“Absolutely Artesia.” Through a tough 2020, we call to mind that Artesia is a community of hard-working and tireless folks motivated by the independent spirit that built and drives this community. We are resilient and we must remain innovative and flexible in the most challenging of times, and committed to staying Absolutely Artesia!

Hayley Klein | Executive Director, Artesia Chamber

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