March 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

     Well, this is certainly an unprecedented time for us all. We have been confronted with something that none of us, from experts to laymen, can fully understand. At the time of this writing, most of us have been asked to remain in our homes, with the exception of those of us who are considered essential to the preservation of our physical or mental health. Some of our businesses have been able to move remotely with little or no disruption, but I know that for many of our members, this has not been the case. As a Chamber, we are working very hard to ensure that we are able to disseminate current and pertinent information to you and keep you apprised of things as they unfold. Our County is working very hard to assess the financial impact and loss and develop options for assistance. As we have additional information, we will send it out to you!

     In the meanwhile, I would like to ask several things of you…most importantly, please heed the warnings related to safety and health. Stay in your home as much as you are able, and minimize contact with others. Getting fresh air is essential, so long as you are maintaining the social distancing recommendations. While I know many of us feel invincible, this virus seems to have its own set of rules, so please be vigilant and smart! If not for yourself, think of others that could be at risk. For those of you who are out and about, I would ask you to support our local businesses as best as you can…our restaurants, pharmacies and drug stores, and our food stores! Talk about unsung heroes....making sure that we have food in our homes and a semblance of normalcy through takeout and delivery. Please keep our restaurants in mind if you are able to order food…every penny counts these days as we are all trying to minimize lay-offs and closings. Many of our restaurants have put curbside pick-up and delivery operations in place to better serve folks…doing the very best that we can is all that we can do! And, in so many instances, the best that we can do truly makes a difference!!!

     As you can imagine, we, like the rest of the world have cancelled our upcoming meetings and gatherings. Our General Meeting and the Women of Distinction Ceremony, where several of our members were to be honored, have all been postponed to another time. But that said, we would like to acknowledge those special women...Susan Martin, Lucrezia Falacara, Carol Leff, Kathryn Gawrych, and yours truly. We are grateful to Senator Thomas for this honor! We will be getting back to you soon regarding our upcoming Street Fair scheduled for June. While we are hopeful that the world will be restored to its natural order, we must assess each day to ensure the health and safety of our community.

     Please continue to check our website and Facebook page as we will continue to post all relevant items related to this pandemic. Our office is also working remotely and we are working hard to make sure that any questions or calls are responded to. That said, this is a time for patience and understanding, as we too, are negotiating a changing world!

    And so my friends, on behalf of the Board, please take care of yourselves. In our varied industries, we often take for granted the importance of taking care of ourselves and we put our work first, but that said, this is the time when we need all our strength and energy!! Rest when you can, take some personal time as you are able, and trust, like in the past, that we will get through this...we have weathered many, many storms in the past. This too, will be something we speak of for generations to come and when we look back, as we will, we want to be able to say that we got it right!! This is a time to count our blessings, even when we feel let down and disappointed…a time to acknowledge those who bring smiles to our hearts and faces, and a time to count on the strength of the human spirit.

   Wishing you all the best of health and looking forward to seeing you all face-to-face in the months to come!

Warm Regards,

Jamie E. Bogenshutz, LCSW
President, Massapequa Chamber of Commerce