Thurston County is moving through the Safe Start guidelines of slowly and safely reopening businesses and activities. But keeping track of the Governor’s four Phases and knowing what’s allowed in each can be confusing. Thankfully the Thurston County Chamber makes it easy by Tying our Community Back Together with festive ribbon tying ceremonies and signage to celebrate grand reopenings county-wide.
Krystal Barkus, the Chamber’s Director of Member Engagement and Events, explains that their first ribbon tying was held Tuesday, June 9. “We anticipate this campaign to go on until all businesses are successfully open, essentially phase 4.”
They hope to celebrate the reopening of any business or organization in Thurston County—or even neighboring counties—whether a Chamber member or not. “We understand that business took the ultimate sacrifice of closing their doors for the benefit of keeping our environment and community safe. Now let us celebrate with them,” says Barkus.
To participate, businesses can reach out to Chamber staff once they’ve determined their reopening date and time. That day, “a Chamber Staff Member and/or volunteer Thurston Chamber Ambassador will show up with a yard sign, poster, or both as well as two pieces of ribbon. We will take a photo and share with the community with a big presence on social media.”
It’s truly a celebration of endurance and to honor these small businesses and groups “we’ll have mayors, council members, and county commissioners attending as many as they can as it relates to their jurisdiction,” says Barkus. “We have partnered with the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County to inform them on a weekly basis of what businesses are participating for the week.”
She admits that it’s been hard for local civic leaders to support small businesses during the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy order but “this is a way they can.”
Know a group who’d like to celebrate? Fill out the Chamber’s online form or call Barkus and her team at 360-357-3362. And remember “literally, ANY business can apply,” stresses Barkus. “If you were open and now expanding back to normal, that’s a Tying! Contact us!”
Everyone loves a party and after months of quarantine and social distancing, we’ve all earned one. Bring your mask and come ready to Tie the Community Back Together thanks to the Thurston County Chamber.
Photo: Hawleys Gelato Fudge Coffee in the Capital Mall is OPEN! Thank you to County Commissioners Tye Menser and John Hutchings for assisting in the retying!