Volume 11 | Tuesday, November 10, 2020
President's Message
There's no place like Sonora for the holidays! We know that our downtown businesses have a lot riding on this holiday season and the Sonora Chamber is here to help. We will be launching a new holiday marketing campaign beginning Saturday, November 28th through Saturday, December 19th. Similar to our popular 2nd Saturday event, participating downtown businesses will remain open from 5- 8 pm for your shopping pleasure. We have partnered with Sonora's own KAAD Radio 103.5, who will provide holiday music from our local musicians as you browse the downtown stores. And as a fun bonus... the Sonora Chamber will be providing free gift wrapping! 

Keeping with the spirit of the holidays, our Holiday Window Display Contest will take place November 28th through December 11th. There will be three winners: The Mayors Choice, Sonora High School Leadership Class Choice, and a Voter's Choice. The winners will be announced at our Holiday Virtual Mixer hosted by the Sierra Repertory Theatre on December 15th! 

It's imperative that we all pull together and support our local businesses, as it genuinely strengthens our entire Community. During this holiday season we encourage you to shop safe, shop small and shop local.
Happy Holidays!

Stay safe and be well,

Katie Dunn
Sonora Chamber President

Thank You to Our Gold Sponsors

Innovation & Business Assistance
Cole Przybyla
Innovation & Business Assistance 
Tuolumne County

Tel 209.533.6598
Cel 209.288.4030

The Innovation and Business Assistance Department creates a podcast to engage businesses through sharing growth strategies, pertinent available resources, innovative business models and adaptation plans to strengthen our local economy. The most recent podcast features Interim Tuolumne County Health Officer, Dr. Sergienko.
If you are interested in Dr. Sergienko's experience with the Navy and CDC or want an update on Tuolumne County's Coronavirus response or the actions businesses can take today to assist remaining in lower tiers of the Blueprint for a Safer Economy or even how the public health department shares information related to cases, I suggest listening to the show.
You can find the podcast HERE

No place like Sonora for the holidays
Participating downtown stores will stay open Saturday Nights from
5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. — November 28, December 5, 12 & 19
Old time radio
KAAD 103.5 Radio will be presenting a play list of local musicians and holiday music. Each participating business will get a shout out on the radio for FREE and receive a faceplate that looks like an old fashioned radio to advertise the program.
gift wrap box
Sonora Chamber of Commerce will be offering free gift wrapping at one or more locations on Washington Street for shoppers with purchase receipts from that evening.
If your downtown business would like to
participate, sign-up here by November 16:


Two Ways to Listen:
Tune-In From Downtown

KAAD-LP 103.5 FM

Listen Online

Update from
Visit Tuolumne County
Visit Tuolumne County is pleased to present our 2019-2020 Annual Report. You may read it here. We will be presenting the report to the Sonora City Council at the December 7th meeting and to the Board of Supervisors at 10am on December 15th.
This past week we hosted social media influencer, Preethi Chandrasekhar (@eagertravele) of Eager Traveler. Preethi and her photographer spent time exploring Hetch Hetchy but most of their time was spent in Sonora staying at the Royal Olive Manor, eating at downtown restaurants, and concluding their visit with a foot soak at Amala Detox and Tea Lounge. Preethi’s visit was coordinated by Visit Tuolumne County in partnership with Visit California and their road trip initiative. 

We continue to work toward bringing more media to Tuolumne County so they can go out and tell our story to the world.
Thank you,

Lisa Mayo
President & CEO
Three $100 Prizes
Winners Announced at Sonora Chamber Virtual Holiday Mixer December 15, 2020
Voter’s Choice Rules:
  1. Business must be located downtown Sonora; 
  2. The Business with the most votes by 12:00 p.m. on December 11th wins;
  3. One vote per person.
Voting Starts November 28th


WHO: Grandma’s House and Resiliency Village

WHAT: Christmas Inside Out

WHERE: Tuolumne County – Details Below


December 11-25: Christmas Inside Out Event
December 12 & 19: Santa Claus at Grandma’s House
December 19: Stuff the Bus

2020 has been a topsy-turvy year. Let's wrap it up in true Tuolumne County fashion. Please join Grandma's House and Resiliency Village for "Christmas Inside Out." 

We plan to "light it up" and are asking you to do the same. Two weeks before Christmas, decorate your homes and businesses inside and out. For those two weeks, let's have the places our children travel lit with displays of color and joy. 

Dates for decorations will be December 11th-Dec 25th. 

Christmas Inside Out Stuff the Bus will be on December 19th from 9:00 to 4:00 in the Walmart parking lot. As with previous Stuff the Bus events, we will provide shopping lists, or you can shop on your own. This year, we are asking for donations for children and adults in need. New items only please. Coats, hats, mittens, socks, sleeping bags, blankets, tents, and tarps. 
We are asking that children bring a handmade ornament to hang on a Christmas tree. 
Santa Claus will visit Grandma’s House on December 12th and December 19th

For information, please call:

Resiliency Village: (209) 396-5554

Grandma's House: (209) 536-4916
Thank You to Our Bronze Sponsors
We continue to promote the Tuolumne County Healthy Pledge so locals feel safe in supporting local business. If your business hasn’t yet taken the pledge, you can do it now, here. Local business is more important than ever, and we want to do all we can to ensure the sustainability of the many businesses in our County that have been continuously challenged by 2020. We would love to hear any of your ideas for local promotions.

Feel free to contact me via email at lisa@gotuolumne.com.

Latest info from Valley Sierra SBDC
Howard White
Valley Sierra SBDC
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Forgiveness
Many businesses took advantage of a fantastic program offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) during the early weeks of the Coronavirus Pandemic, called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was part of the CARES Act / Federal Stimulus Package signed into law on 3/27/20. As we have been talking about for months, this program was a loan which could be 100% Forgiven if the money provided to each small business was used and tracked correctly - making it more of a grant than a loan. However details about how the "Forgiveness" would be granted were sketchy and only recently have been explained in more detail. But what should have been a relatively simple process, became very complicated with lengthy forgiveness application forms, and to address that, there are now three PPP Forgiveness application forms for you to choose to submit. 
Originally the PPP loan was to cover 8 weeks of payroll (plus provide some assistance for rent or mortgage, and utility bills) during the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic and ensuing mass business shut-downs in March and April, and the loan forgiveness application was due on October 31, 2020. However SBA extended the PPP to 24 weeks so that funds could be used until 12/31/20 and the loan dates and forgiveness application deadlines have been extended until 10 months after your covered period ends, so you can ignore the "expiration date of 10/31/2020" printed on most PPP forgiveness forms. For example, a borrower with a covered period that ends 10/30/2020 has until 8/30/2021 to apply for forgiveness before any loan repayment begins on the "unforgiven" part of the loan. 
If your business used the PPP funds exactly as the rules were revised ( returning to the number of employees you had on 2/15/20, spending at least 60% of the PPP on payroll, and the other 0%-40% being used for rent/mortgage/utilities), you will receive 100% Forgiveness (less the "Advance" portion of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan - EIDL if you received that loan as well - for more information see Issue Connect Issue #4 dated 6/23/20). Any "unforgiven" part of the loan (eg where less than 60% of the loan was spent on payroll or money was spent on other items) becomes a loan due within 2-5 years.
To request forgiveness, work with the bank that issued your PPP loan. They should provide the best form for you to use, but here is a quick overview of the choices - in increasing levels of time and effort required: 

Please contact the local Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at (209) 422-6416, or contact me directly at HowardSWhite@aol.com with any questions - we'd be happy to help you understand and navigate through this process!
Sierra Rep Logo
It is not easy to be a theatre company unable to produce plays and musicals. No one is immune from the personal, physical, and financial impacts of this unprecedented time. Just like other performing arts organizations around the world, Sierra Rep is facing a challenge unlike anything in recent history. With your continued support, we will recover from this pandemic stronger than ever.
“Our community has stepped up in a big way to support SRT! In just a few weeks, we have successfully reached our $30,000 goal for our Endurance Fund, providing critical financial support during this unprecedented time. SRT’s Board of Directors and TAG Team have generously decided to offer a new matching grant that doubles every new gift until we can reach $55,000. That’s $2 for every $1 donated!! Please help us reach our new goal of $55,000 now until December 20.

All monies raised go towards supporting
the programs of Tuolumne County Arts.

Tuolumne County Arts is excited to present this year's 2nd Annual Why Not? Picasso inspired Small Works Art Show & Sale. Topic for this challenge was Plants and Animals, but with a twist! This year we chose Picasso as inspiration for his prolific works in many media.

We have received unique and imaginative entries that consist of sculpture from found objects, paintings, collage and objects that contain the color palettes for which Picasso was famous. His two early periods were called the Rose period and his Blue period.

All monies raised go towards supporting the programs of Tuolumne County Arts.

Tuolumne County Arts is excited to present this year's 2nd Annual Why Not? Picasso inspired Small Works Art Show & Sale. Topic for this challenge was Plants and Animals, but with a twist! This year we chose Picasso as inspiration for his prolific works in many media.

We have received unique and imaginative entries that consist of sculpture from found objects, paintings, collage and objects that contain the color palettes for which Picasso was famous. His two early periods were called the Rose period and his Blue period.
All bids will be anonymous. Put your very best price (starting price will be made available) into the “box” and that’s that.

Artists will give you a hint to what they feel the value is and starting price will be 50% of that. BUT if you REALLY WANT IT, you can always bid more!
November 14th: Noon – 8:00 pm.
You may see all the works online at:
Text: 209 694 6147 or email us at: info@tuolumnecountyarts.org
When you text or email we will put your bids in the box for you!
Nov 14, 2020 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm
If you’d like to see the works in person, join us at the Sonora Inn. Place your bids and away you go.
(We will comply with all safe practices of social distancing if you decide to come to the INN in person).
November 15, 2020
We will open the boxes. The highest bidder will win. If you've won, we will contact you on Sunday morning to schedule safe pickup or delivery of your piece(s) Some pieces can be shipped for an additional fee. 

209 591-8686

New Member Spotlight
PMZ Real Estate

14570 Mono Way, Suite F
Sonora CA 95370

209 588-2910 

Is anyone else shocked that the holidays are already here? If you haven’t already planned out your holiday specials and promotions through the end of the year, now is the ideal time. With many big box corporations such as Walmart and Kohl’s announcing and starting Black Friday specials in the past week, it is a missed opportunity not to be starting now.

It is no surprise that we have seen a large shift from brick-and-mortar to e-commerce experiences since the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to shifting consumer needs and behaviors, it is imperative your business pivots in its holiday strategy and marketing plan. Here are a few recommendations:

  1. Make sure you are clearly communicating what your health and safety protocols are. If you have the capability, offer curbside pickup. Update your Google My Business and Facebook accounts with COVID policies, pin a COVID-19 update post to the top of your page, and make sure signage is visible from the outside.
  2. Use digital tools to make money through online sales, orders and gift certificates. For example, explore Facebook Marketplace, Google Merchant Center, Facebook/Instagram shops and Pinterest’s merchant tools. If none of those apply to your business, think about offering e-gift cards.
  3. Use video. Video and live videos are favored in the algorithm and increase your chances of being seen. For pre-recorded video, try Animoto, Spark Video, Ripl and other user friendly programs that are easy to learn. Make sure you add captions! 85-90% of viewers are watching with sound off, so don’t miss the chance for them to hear your deals!
  4. Throw a few bucks into paid advertising. Make sure that you are targeting the correct audience including geographic perimeter, age, gender, interests and behaviors.

For more updates and social media
marketing tips, be sure to follow me on
Facebook or Instagram: @getsocialwithtiffany.
No November Mixer!
Thank You to Our Community Sponsors
P.O. Box 3084
Sonora, CA 95370