Plumas County chambers seek to help local businesses
By Debra Moore
Chambers of commerce and merchant groups across Plumas County are working to assist their local businesses, but they are taking varied approaches. In the Graeagle area, a Go Fund Me page has been established, while in Chester/Lake Almanor an online shopping service has been implemented. The Quincy chamber is featuring area merchants on its Facebook page, while in Eastern Plumas the effort is focusing on opening up the county for business.
As of now only essential businesses are allowed to remain open in Plumas County and based on the governor’s timeline, most will be closed for weeks to come. Even when businesses are given the green light, they will be operating under social distancing guidelines that will limit the number of customers they serve, and the pool of customers could dwindle due to the cancellation of such large gatherings as the High Sierra Music Festival and the Graeagle Fourth of July celebration.
The Graeagle Merchants Association has set up a Go Fund Me page and raised $1,790 toward its goal of $250,000. The site, just a week old, was created to help the small businesses in Graeagle and Blairsden weather the COVID-19 pandemic that has curtailed their livelihoods.
“These businesses are the heart of our communities,” reads the post on the Go Fund Me page. “Our rural small towns are certainly not equipped to weather this storm without the support of our community. Most of our local businesses are made up of individuals and mom and pop establishments who’ve already made it through rough economies, bad weather years and still employ many and our friends. These are the same local businesses who have supported the community in the past through donations, fundraisers, raffles and more…”
To support the effort, go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/small-town-relief-fund
Lake Almanor area
The Lake Almanor Areas Chamber of Commerce has established an online marketplace for its businesses, which makes it easy to purchase gift cards and browse the variety of objects for sale that can be purchased directly online. The chamber assists businesses with their messaging and markets the shopping opportunity.
A review of the website shows there are currently 10 businesses easily accessible for online shopping, with plans to continually expand the offerings. Go to https://www.lakealmanorarea.com/my-town-local.html.
That chamber is also producing a weekly newsletter titled Town Chatter that keeps local residents and the business community apprised of latest developments.
The Quincy Chamber of Commerce is highlighting local businesses daily on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The new effort will feature businesses each day with updated information on how they are continuing to provide goods or services during the coronavirus pandemic. Each entry will include pertinent information and hours of operation that will be updated as necessary.
The Lost Sierra Chamber of Commerce, which represents the eastern end of Plumas County, is working to reopen the economy in Plumas sooner than might happen elsewhere in the state. Chamber leaders have worked with Shane Starr, a representative for Congressman Doug LaMalfa, to further that effort. Starr was instrumental in getting the boat ramps reopened at Lake Almanor and Lake Davis.
“The Lost Sierra Chamber is working very closely with Graeagle and Portola businesses, and actually pushing all of Plumas County,” said Jan Tew, who works for the chamber. She has been busy fielding calls in her office from people who are interested in visiting all areas of the county.
Tew quoted Susan Bryner, the president of the Lake Almanor Area Chamber of Commerce, saying “Ingenuity and community spirit will prevail.” Tew added, “We’re really trying here.”
The Indian Valley Chamber of Commerce continues to update the public on its Facebook page with posts about business offerings and events. Two items of note: Mt. Huff golf course is set to open May 1 while implementing Plumas County’s new guidelines, while the annual community wide garage sale has been canceled.