Monthly Archives: May 2017

Road Construction – unavoidable this summer

It seems almost everywhere you go around town you will run into some detour or construction.  Reconstructing roads and changing infrastructure may be a necessity considering not only the past growth of the area but future growth as well.   It doesn’t make life any easier in the short term, however.  Especially for business owners.  Local businesses have local people as employees and help the local economy which is vital to providing the quality of life in our community that we are used to.

The US 2 closure earlier this month has made it more difficult for people to get to the businesses they are used to driving by.  Now it takes more work for the consumer to get to them.  Working with the construction and project managers, the Chamber and business owners have asked for more signage to help direct people.  Still, some people would rather avoid the trouble altogether.  And that affects business.  Taking the 11th detour at the roundabout on 32nd you can still access Mattress Firm, Riddles Jewelry, Sakura Steakhouse, Sportsman’s Warehouse, and Starboard.  On the south side of US 2 the frontage road offers access to member businesses Agri Industries, American Welding & Gas, and OK Tire.

Particularly difficult is the way for those trying to get to the chamber member businesses on Reiger Dr.: Jiffy Lube, Culver’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, BeMobile, Batteries Plus.  Those businesses are still open and eager for your business!

And if downtown Main Street hasn’t seen enough of a disruption a few years ago, they are now facing another one beginning next week.  From 6th Street to Front street, one block at a time going south, there will be disruptions to Main Street.  Sometimes even closing some of the intersections for a few days at a time.  But again, you will still be able to access Chamber member businesses like American State Bank & Trust, Basin Brokers, Books on Broadway, Castle Framing, Cedar Chest, Cooks on Main, Cugini Italian Bistro, Gate City Bank, Hedderich’s Art and Trade Center, Jackie’s Therapeutic Massage, Little Muddy Gifts, North Dakota Guaranty & Title Co., Mode, Maurice’s, The Renaissance Companies, Ritter Brothers, Salvation Army, the Senior Center, and US Bank…just not necessarily how you are used to.

Other projects have affected how you get to Dakota Prints, Duane’s Radiator Shop and Dawa as another example.

Hopefully, it is something that you can be understanding of – that although it may be a little bit of a hassle, you can still get there.  I urge everyone to be a little more tolerant and cautious while driving through.  Support the businesses as best you can.  I also encourage you to make it a point to visit them and see how they are doing.  This is our community and supporting each other is the right thing to do.  It will make us an even stronger community.

This too shall pass.

My mom used to say that to me often as a child.  And it will.  Hopefully, the weather cooperates and they can finish the road construction projects on time.  No doubt, new projects will pop up somewhere else next summer or even later this summer.  But keeping in mind that ‘this too shall pass’ and supporting each other during the difficult times is the best way to get through it…for everyone.

-Janna

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Veteran’s Assistance Funds

One of the long-standing committees of the chamber has been the Military Affairs Committee (MAC).  This committee works to assist local military and veterans’ organizations to recognize and respect our military heritage in Northwest North Dakota.  The MAC actively supports local veterans, military, their families, the businesses that employ them, and the communities in which they live and work.  Yearly, they host events and projects throughout the year:  golf tournament, Patriot Award at our Annual Banquet, the Avenue of Flags, Veteran’s Day programs and more.

Like those who serve or have served in the military, the committee (consisting mostly of veterans themselves) labor to assist those who have selflessly served this country.  One of these lesser known ways is through the Veteran’s Assistance Funds.  Thanks to generous sponsors like the Williston Basin Chapter API and Red River Supply, veterans in need of help can come to the Williams County office and request gift cards for meals, gas, and other needs.  The committee works to ensure there is much support for our veterans – especially the homeless vets.  MAC has seen a downturn in requests for funds, but that does not mean the need has gone down.  There are many people out there that do not know what is available to them.  Like Red River Supply, there are also many veteran friendly businesses and veteran owned businesses in this community.  Thanks to Jim Swartout, owner of ND Flagpole Guy, each Lemonade Stand this year will proudly display the American flag.  This is just one example.   To all those businesses, to the committee members, and to all veterans – a sincere Thank You.  You make the world and our community a safer and better place and for that we are grateful.

Please help us spread the word on what the Military Affairs Committee is doing and contact the Chamber to contribute to the cause.

-Janna

My Favorite Chamber Function

‘You can keep going long after you think you can’t.’  I’ve been saying this to myself so long I don’t remember if this is my own quote or not.  But it is most certainly a lesson I learned in high school sports.  I can still recall: after a three hour (hard) practice you think it’s the last time and you push with all your might to finish, then exhausted, you fall to the ground.  Coach says good job…. now DO IT AGAIN! You feel like you want to give up or that you physically just can’t.

But then you do.  And you do that several times a week.  You keep going and you keep getting better.   In high school, I had a fantastic coach who spent so much of her own time to get us to where we could win championships.  I didn’t realize the impact this had on me or how much of a life lesson it turned out to be for me until later in life.  It was a priceless experience.

I try to keep this in mind as it has such practical applications for life both personally and professionally.   So often, life tries to throw things at you especially in business – technical issues, loss of employees, vendor rate increases, etc. that you can often feel like you just can’t do it.  But you can.  The more you keep going, the more you succeed.  “Success doesn’t always require getting things done right, but it does require always getting things done”.  This quote isn’t my own, but it’s up there with the other one as something I remind myself of often.

Once I realized how much that lesson stuck with me, I reached back out to my old coach years after college just to thank her.  We all have people in our lives that help us out at one stage or another.  In our businesses, it’s no different.   The connections we make through the Chamber and this business community are critically important, especially for those times that you feel like you can’t.  We are here as a united business community to help ourselves but to help each other.  It’s one of my favorite functions of the Chamber.

Remember: you can keep going…and if you need help – call us!  We’re here for you!

-Janna

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