Member Brief Bytes
This is the place to find the latest and greatest news regarding Chamber happenings, member happenings, community happenings and topics of interest to your business! Look for this e-newsletter to come your way about 2:00 every Wednesday afternoon. Enjoy the read and let us know if there is anything we can share about your business here or on our social media outlets!
Sponsor Spotlight
COVID UPDATE

WRIGHT COUNTY SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF GRANTS NOW AVAILABLE

Wright County is taking applications for Small Business Relief Grants aimed at those most recently involved in the Executive Order 20-99. The County will receive around $2.7 million next week and will be taking applications through February 16th. The application portal is now live on the County website: http://www.co.wright.mn.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2208 . You will see the Business Relief Grant link in the upper left sidebar.

They are dividing the businesses into three groups: Those specifically earmarked for multiple small business funding sources (restaurants, gyms, theaters, entertainment), then sole proprietor with maybe one employee and then non-profits and promoters of performing arts who may have not received funding as of yet. Each has their own criteria to meet and the application is fully online - you must complete all 6 pages. If your business has sustained a loss since July 1 due to the pandemic, take a look at the details and see if you qualify.

Click here for the County information as provided by Commissioner Vetsch: http://www.co.wright.mn.us/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=2204

SUMMARY OF CURRENT EXECUTIVE ORDER/CHANGES AS A RESULT OF THE GOVERNOR'S 2:00 PRESS CONFERENCE:

The press conference was kept short due to the number of people/protesters that have
congregated on the U.S. Capital building in Washington, DC. Let's hope it ends peacefully.

  • Restaurants may open up at 50% capacity up to 150 people. Reservations. Close by 10 pm.
  • Gyms at 25% with class size of 25 with 9 feet apart masked. Pools open to 25%.
  • Bowling, movie theaters and museums at 25% no more than 150. No food after 10.
  • Youth Sports can start having games with limited spectators on January 14th.
  • Social gatherings kept to 2 households and 10 people inside or 3 households and 15 people if outside.
  • Churches remain at 50% but no cap.
  • Outdoor events/entertainment at 25% up to 250 people.

This is a good move for our restaurants, gyms and entertainment and we couldn't be more excited to be able to host the Kite Festival!

Let's keep taking personal responsibility, stay home if sick, keep wearing our masks and practicing social distancing etc...We can keep things open and keep things moving forward. Minnesota has done a great job and with continuing to follow these guidelines and with vaccines within reach we don't want to go backwards at this point. Be respectful of others trying to stay healthy for themselves or their loved ones, be respectful of businesses trying to make it amidst the restrictions and be encouraging to all around us as we move into hopefully some more sense of normalcy for 2021.

ALL CALL FOR DISPOSABLE MASKS:

If you received some of the free masks that we distributed last spring and still have some left - maybe you aren't finding a big use for them - our gyms could use them since members now have to wear masks while working out. It would be good for them to have a stash on hand in case someone comes without or theirs breaks while exercising. They weren't the best quality as we all know, but for this scenario could be a good solution. Just drop them off here and we will get to the gyms! Even a couple boxes here and there will help!

COVID STATS FOR MN/WRIGHT COUNTY:

WHO'S THAT MEMBER BUSINESS/BUILDING?
WHO'S THAT MEMBER BUILDING

We are winding down on the who's that member building. If you didn't catch it - last time I didn't change the photo! Must mean it's time to do something different! We will try something else next week but we wanted to select the winner of the $10 Buffalo Bucks for the last quarter of 2020.....drum roll please.... it is Janel Sherk from State Farm Insurance/Mark Olson.

Let me work on the new best guess game for you next week and see if I can challenge you more.... or less! Congrats Janel and I hope you all learned a little something about each business each week!
New Members 2020/21
SUNFISH DENTAL
57 Birch Ave S
Maple Lake, MN 55358
320-963-3794

Love the logo and the name but love the mission even more...wanting to make a difference for people and giving confidence to someone's smile!

Dr. Nikki Tripp graduated with a degree in Biology before getting her Doctor or Dental Surgery from the U of M. Moving from Brenner Dental here in Buffalo, she has now opened her own office in Maple Lake as of September. The office was formerly that of Dr Dennis Quinlan. Dr. Tripp and her hygienist, assistant and office manager all live in the surrounding area, including Buffalo. They like to be active in their community so joining the Buffalo Chamber was a good fit.

Sunfish Dental enjoys working with patients of all ages and offers a full array of dental services including routine hygiene, periodontal treatment, fillings, crowns, dentures, extractions, implants and full mouth reconstruction. They look at their patients comprehensive health and work with them to determine the best treatment for them. Office hours are: Tues-Thurs 8 to 5 and Friday 8-3. Stop in and give them your best smile!
Chamber Events - Don't miss this!
LEADING THRU CHAOS
Live Webinar Training
NEXT 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 Delano Chambes 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.

Register here so we know you are coming by Friday!!
KITE FESTIVAL
Saturday, February 13th 11-3

We have intentionally been keeping quiet about this until we heard Governor Walz today! Suzanne and I are dancing in our offices that we can now move forward with this event and will be busy beavers from now until then as we take everything off pause! We have so many awesome kite fliers (almost 20) coming in from all over the Midwest so there will be more and bigger and better kites than ever before!

Want to be on a cornhole team? Let me know! $40 gets your team a slot on the bracket, a free mug with beverage of choice and a chance to win a cash pot! This event helps us offset the expense of hosting as does selling of our new merchandise! You can now purchase a stocking hat or colorful mug with the Kites on Ice logo!

Sponsors - we are so glad we can move forward with your help. We are still looking for more sponsors if you have been holding back because you weren't sure we were hosting. Below is the sponsorship levels. We are also in need of volunteers and people to host games on the ice. Contact Suzanne if you are interested!!

BOLTEN MENK DESIGNED COLORING BOOKS FOR THE KIDS
200 WILL BE COMING OUR WAY - THANK YOU!!

THANK YOU TO OUR NEWEST SPONSOR - WRIGHT COUNTY COLLISION FOR BEING A JACK FROST SPONSOR!
CELEBRATING SOME YEAR END ANNIVERSARIES!

Thank you to Fitness Evolution for their 20 years of membership and Precision Prints for their 40+ years of membership! We enjoy working with you and thank you for your ongoing support of the Chamber and the community! Below is Jenna with Fitness Evo and Tom and Mandy from Precision Prints. Hoping the colorful plants brightened their day!
AMBASSADORS ON THE MOVE
BANKWEST
311 10th Ave S
763-477-5231

On the heels of their 40th anniversary Shirley and Steve Huston have created a financial institution rooted deeply in the communities they serve with locations in Buffalo, Rockford, and Hanover. When asked what Steve wants BANKWEST to be known for he immediately said “building a legacy of caring”. Shirley, Steve, Randy Whitcomb and the rest of the team at the bank are committed to making sure the center of everything they do is to continue building relationships in town. They serve personal banking clients and small businesses alike and have a deep desire to help people in the community realize their dreams. They don't want their bank to be seen as dollars and cents as much as helping and caring for people. They plan, for the immediate future, to remain independent so they can continue to provide that personal touch!

The Huston family purchased the Rockford State Bank in 1980. Eventually they were presented with the opportunity to serve another community in nearby Hanover and as the community expanded they kept on growing, opening the Buffalo branch in the 2000's. During that time they broke ground for a new home office in Rockford and a permanent building in Hanover as they all are known today. All locations are very involved with the city they serve, often sponsoring events, giving of their time, and partnering with local services to meet the needs of those in the area. It's a family business and it sure shows! Through it all they have kept pace with the technology boom with the implementation of internet banking, mobile deposit and have proudly partnered with Kasasa that will lead our banking into the future.

The bank is coordinating an awesome 10 day cruise down the Danube from Budepest to Nuremberg. Check out the flyer below, for all the cities you could visit. If this is something you have had on your bucket list - maybe now is the time to take action! Give Betty Stuhr a call at the Rockford location with questions: 763-477-5231.

Below see Ambassador Tina Anderson with Anchor Realty, Randy Whitcomb, Sr. Vice President of BankWest and Steve Huston owner of BankWest with me showing the flyer regarding the cruise.
HR & Business Topics
New Minnesota minimum wage starting
Jan. 1, 2021

The following are Minnesota's minimum-wage rates as of Jan. 1, 2021.
  • Large employers must pay at least $10.08 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are $500,000 or more.
  • Small employers must pay at least $8.21 an hour when the employer's annual gross revenues are less than $500,000.
  • The training wage rate, $8.21 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 20 years of age for the first 90 consecutive days of employment.
  • The youth wage rate, $8.21 an hour, may be paid to employees younger than 18 years of age.
Employers can print or order a free copy of the required minimum wage poster by visiting the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry's website.
Employee notice updates may be required
As part of Minnesota's employee notice requirement, employers are required to provide each employee with a written notice of any change, before the change takes effect, including a change to the employee's rate of pay. Learn more about the employee notice requirement at www.dli.mn.gov/business/employment-practices/employee-notice
COMMUNITY HAPPENINGS
This photo didn't show it well, but in all my years of living here, I have never seen the Buffalo Heights golf course hill so busy as this past weekend. What a great way to spend some fun family time!
SPEAKING OF A GOLF COURSE....

Wild Marsh Golf Course is looking for a new, non-golfing applicant, to fill an opening on their Advisory Board. This is not a large time commitment, generally meeting for an hour every quarter.
Go to the City of Buffalo website www.ci.buffalo.mn.us for an application and more information. Complete the application and return it to the Assistant City Administrator by e-mail to alison.matthees@ci.buffalo.mn.us or to 212 Central Avenue, Buffalo, Minnesota, 55313. Applicants must reside within Buffalo City limits.
Toys for Tots was able to serve over 265 families this year thanks to you! With the toys and monetary donations, each child received gifts, stocking stuffers and a book! Every family also received a board game. Well done to all the volunteers that made this happen as well as to all who gave!
KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW

Quick-link to the recent City of Buffalo public meetings:
To acquire knowledge, one must study, but to acquire wisdom one must observe.
Be sure you follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce
763-682-4902
Sue@BuffaloChamber.org 
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