Member Brief Bytes


Here is a summary of the Executive Order 20-103 that the Governor is addressing as we speak. I will be sending an email follow up with more details a little later today.

Bars and restaurants cannot open up for dining in, but will be allowed to resume outdoor service, limited to 50% capacity, or 100 customers until January 11th.

Fitness studios and gyms will be able to reopen at a quarter of their capacity, with a 100-person limit starting Saturday. People must wear masks at all times and maintain 12 feet of social distancing. No classes until January 4th.

Youth sports teams will be able to start practicing on Jan. 4. No games yet.

Indoor family gatherings will be allowed with one other household, up to 10 people, and a family can meet with up to two other households outside.

Outdoor entertainment venues can open at 25% of their capacity, with a 100 person maximum.

He will be speaking to getting back to in person education for the elementary school levels as well.

This is to try and bridge the gap until vaccines are more readily available.

This is not what our local restaurants wanted to hear, so please be intentional about ordering take out from them during the holiday weeks ahead! I know Bison Creek is dishing up family meals too - so maybe your whole Christmas dinner can be made for you! Click here to see what our member restaurant contact and take out status is.


For those of you who who show a 30% or more loss of business due to COVID restrictions there is relief coming. This type of package should have been there when the last Executive Orders were announced , but the State is no longer waiting for Federal help. The Senate voted 62-4 on Monday evening, and the House voted 117-13. Top lawmakers who negotiated the $216.5 million deal over the past three weeks said Minnesota needed to act because Congress had not.

What it will entail:

About $88 million for businesses that've lost 30 percent or more of their revenue this year, $14 million earmarked for movie theaters and large convention centers, and $112 million for counties to dole out to local businesses. An extension of unemployment benefits from Dec. 27 through April 10, at a cost estimated at $500 million to $550 million. More to come on this for what it means for us locally. Keep a watch here and/or your emails for details!

Lawmakers rejected an amendment that would've relaxed Minnesota's liquor laws to allow takeout growler and cocktails to go, something that some breweries and restaurants were seeking.
Also left out of the final bill: a $500 stimulus check to 31,000 low-income MN families, housing assistance, and money for businesses damaged by the springtime rioting in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The relief deal comes hours after the first shipment of coronavirus vaccines arrived in Minnesota.
Thousands of doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine started arriving this week in Minnesota, with the VA hospital being the first recipient of 2,925 doses on Monday along with Sanford Bemidji Medical Center, Olmsted Medical Center in Rochester and the Cass Lake Indian Health Service.



Last weeks winner was Judy Maznio with Wright County Journal Press & Drummer with Strive Therapy Services. Jaime and Gary Plamann help serve kids and adults with speech, occupational and mental health therapy in downtown Buffalo. They have been working hard, doing telehealth appointments with their clients and it's just not quite the same!
Email me at if you think you have the right answer! First one in gets put in a quarterly drawing for $10 of Buffalo Bucks!
New Members 2020 - Meet 4!!
4315 Avondale St
Minnetonka, MN 55345

I love when businesses that may have a Corporate presence outside of Buffalo join our Chamber because an employee or two lives in the area!

The Better Living Group was established 8 years ago and has three realtors and a marketing manager. Georgie Christian and Darcy Warcken are the duo that wants to spend more time getting to know our Buffalo leaders better. Georgie had a friend in the business and Darcy worked for a home builder and they both were intrigued with the real estate world and have enjoyed living their passion ever since!

What's unique about their business is that near 100% of their business comes from direct referrals. That's a rousing testament to the service they provide!

With Georgie starting in this business at 19 and quickly working with all types of real estate sellers and purchasers and Darcy having experience with investors, new construction and traditional clients all throughout the state, they bring a level of knowledge like none other. They enjoy working with first time home buyers and sellers, but regardless, want to make each and every transaction as smooth as possible. Their clients are their #1 priority!

In their words... what's their specialty: Service. It doesn't matter if you're looking for your first home or you're a seasoned investor. We go above and beyond to provide you with the information, resources, and space to make an informed decision. We're with you every step of the way, and we'll stop at nothing to fight for your best interests. Our clients are our friends. 

Below see Georgie Christian, Chelsea Knutson, Kelly Geach and Darcy Warcken - the Avenue Realty Team!
1213 Leo Lane

Meet Andy Crone owner of Fresh Coat Painters of Buffalo! Andy was a machinist for 30 years and was looking for a career change. Fresh Coat Painters is a national franchise with just two other territories in Minnesota - the St. Cloud area and the Eden Prairie area! Though Andy has lots of miles to cover in 36 zip codes, he lives in Buffalo and wanted to serve this area with interior and exterior residential and commercial painting services.

Andy also offers other services such as lead abatement, and new this year, as a result of the pandemic, is disinfecting spray. Have your painting project followed up with a new disinfect and protect sanitizing application. Can keep your home, church, schools or business fresh and safe! Contact him for the details!

Andy's motto is "Painting Done Right", and he ensures that by inspecting every job. He is fully licensed and bonded and eager to help you make your surroundings that maybe we are spending too much time in, more beautiful and safe!
200 Central Avenue

Though you probably already know this, as good news travels, but the offerings at Gather Kitchen are quite tasty! Because we can see traffic right outside our office windows, we know that owner Kristi Varner, has been quite successful even though opening during the pandemic. Her original plan was to start slow with just take out offerings, but think things took off pretty fast!

Kristi, a Buffalo native and the chef herself brings to us locally sourced farm fresh foods!
She makes delicious homemade sandwiches and soups and full dinners as well. We have personally enjoyed her breakfast sandwich, the bacon/grilled cheese, the Wild Acres sandwich which is turkey and avocado on focaccia, and tomato soup! She offers full dinners, such as chicken or beef stew and mashed potatoes. There are even daily pie selections!

Her goal, when she is able to open to the public, will to offer some course meals by reservation only, where she can cook a fancy dinner for a small group! For now - enjoy the deliciousness of all she has to offer for any meal of the day. There is a soup du jour, so check in daily.

Gather is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10-5:00. You have to follow her on Facebook to keep an eye on what she has cooking so be sure to do that today!
10900 Wayzata Blvd Suite 150
Minnetonka, MN 55305

A high school passion has turned into a career for native Buffalonian Adam Bjorklund, who first got hooked on the stock market and financial world in Economics class at Buffalo High School.
He chose to live that passion with the company that is #1 in trust! Ameriprise has been in business for over 125 years. Adams extended family has lived in Buffalo for over 100 years. Sounds like good math to me!

Adam helps people gain clarity, confidence and understanding of their finances by the three C's: Connecting - scheduling a visit, Collaborating - collectively looking at each person's financial picture, and Carrying Out - together developing a plan to get you where you want to go!

What sets Ameriprise apart from others is that they have a personally tailored Growth and Income portfolio model that they actively manage that outperforms peer groups and the Index and they have a hedging strategy that captures the upside and protects the downside - providing peace of mind. Through financial advice, investment and solution recommendations as well as progress meetings and smart technology, they help you achieve your financial goals and adjust to whatever life brings - even a pandemic!

Adam has a very active family and is involved with them in sports, church and school - being newly elected to the BHM School Board. We welcome him to our membership! Feel free to contact him with any financial help you might need!
Chamber Events - Don't miss this!
Live Webinar Training
Tuesday, January 12th 12-1:00

The Chamber is always looking for meaningful educational opportunities to help you grow!
Join us as we kick off the new year on a positive note! This FREE webinar is for you and your staff. If you have attended Erik's trainings we had a few years back, you know that is interesting, informational and engaging! You will come away with something to add to your leadership style!

We are excited as members from the Monticello and possibly Delano Chamber will be joining us as well. The more the merrier! If you can walk away with one nugget of information to take back to your workplace to make you or your business better - that's all we ask! Be sure to join us!

We will send out the Zoom link closer to with an email reminder, but want you to get this on your calendar now!

Register here so we know you are coming.
8 South 1st Avenue, Buffalo

You may not have heard of a church operating out of what has typically been a retail site, but United Church of Christ is anything but typical. As Ole Olson, Pastor, says “It’s not your Grandmother’s Church” They are progressive in nature and very involved in social justice issues and equality. The United Church of Christ denomination was the first to ordain a black person, a woman and an openly gay person. They are welcoming to all! Ole was originally a Parts Manager for heavy equipment trucks, so he retired early in order to work his passion – helping others.

The location was strategic – as the church wants to be in integral part of the community and do their mission work locally. They offer up use of their space to other groups and non-profits rent free. What started as a house church, though still small, now has 12 to 14 regular attenders and with their services now on line, that number is over 20. They have not opened to meeting since the pandemic, but are doing their services on u-tube under United _ Faith channel. You can see services there by 8 a.m. Saturday. They hope to soon start an online Bible study as well.

They are currently looking to gather needed items for homeless students at the high school. There is a drop box outside their door where you can drop water bottles as the drinking fountains at the schools are turned off, toiletries, hats, gloves, scarves and school supplies. They have also set up a little library, which has been getting good use. Feel free to fill it with books – especially kids books – they go fast!

Below is Ambassador Tina Anderson with Anchor Realty, myself and Ole Olson outside the church location along with the donation box. They make it easy to drop off the needed supplies for the students!

Did you know the beloved 9th annual online auction is happening too! It ends tomorrow so best get your bid in now!! You can pick items up as early as Friday the 18th to allow for holiday gift giving! Sadly I've been outbid twice today - so will hop back on tomorrow!

Click the link:

This auction is WCHS’s major programming fundraiser for the year, allowing the 501c3 nonprofit organization the opportunity to provide free presentations and events to the public. The auction promises to be our best ever, filled with unique items, collectibles, and beautiful themed baskets, with new items added daily. Contact Sally Stevens, WCHS Business Manager, with any questions at


The Wright County Historical Society (WCHS) is taking their Festival of Trees on the road for 2020! While the Wright County Heritage Center remains closed to the public, WCHS invites all residents to submit pictures and/or video (20 seconds maximum) of their own trees for a special ‘Road Show’ edition of our 13th annual event. All entries will be posted on WCHS’s website, Facebook and Instagram locations starting December 1, 2020 through January 1, 2021. Visitors to all sites can vote for their favorites with the most combined votes winning the coveted WCHS Festival of Trees Medals in multiple categories!

Submissions can be emailed to

Quick-link to the recent City of Buffalo public meetings:
Why don't crabs celebrate Christmas? Because they are shell-fish!
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Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce