With the safety of our community in mind, the Hastings Area Chamber Board of Directors and Rivertown Days committee have decided to cancel Rivertown Days 2020. The health and wellbeing of our volunteers, guests, vendors, entertainers and staff is our top priority, and the group has worked through several options. The final decision to cancel was based upon the following:
• While we cannot predict what July will bring, preparation for Rivertown Days begins in early spring. As of today, state health officials say it is unsafe to be in large crowds and recommend Minnesotans continue to practice social distancing.
• The ability to plan and support a large event while sheltering in place is simply too difficult. Unfortunately, the environment surrounding COVID-19 produces a great deal of uncertainty for our sponsors, vendors, and entertainment, from whom the Rivertown Days committee would need a commitment now. We recognize expecting this type of commitment is irresponsible.
• Once the Stay At Home MN order is lifted, consumer habits are likely to change. An event like Rivertown Days is only possible through the financial support of sponsors and button sales. A recent survey of Minnesota travelers indicated it will be 6 months or longer before visitors will feel safe in large crowds. Without the support of guests through button sales, the event is not financially feasible.
We hope you will support the Hastings Chamber Board and Rivertown Days committee in the decision to keep our community safe. Rivertown Days will be back in 2021, and we look forward to celebrating with all of you then!
Derrick Jaeger, Chamber Board Chair
Kristy Barse, President
Hastings Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau
While Rivertown Days is on hold until July 2021, The Hastings Chamber is continuing to serve its members and the local business community in the following ways:
- • Chamber staff has worked closely with elected officials and our partner Chambers in Dakota County, The Minnesota Chamber and the US Chamber to provide timely news and resources regarding COVID-19.
- • The Hastings Chamber and Downtown Business Association joined forces to host a weekly call with elected officials, giving our businesses the opportunity to share their stories while getting helpful information from legislative leadership.
- • Our Chamber members have offered to help by hosting webinars through our Real Time Solutions Webinar series launched in partnership with the Apple Valley, Burnsville, Lakeville and River Heights Chamber. These 30-minute webinars are posted on the Hastings Chamber website and cover important topics like funding options, employer legal requirements, financial planning for the future and how to successfully operate online.
- • The Chamber board has worked with elected officials to advocate for financial relief in the way of extending commercial property tax payments and setting up a local pandemic relief fund.
- • We currently serve on an Economic Development Task Force with members of the Hastings City Council and HEDRA. The task force is working on the best way to serve small businesses at a local level. • The Hastings Chamber website promotes our members offering curbside pick and online ordering.
- • A Facebook group called “Hastings Businesses Band Together” was created to provide resources and support to local businesses.
- • The Chamber Board, in partnership with the City of Hastings, is working on programs to help our local economy get “back to business” safely.
We know that all businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. If you have questions or suggestions on how the Hastings Chamber can help your business, please reach out.