Something from Mary!- July 2020

After numerous requests for a “Take Home” Hutchinson Keepsake, the Hutchinson Chamber Foundation is excited to offer this opportunity! In order for this sponsor based book to be published, we need your help. We are asking businesses to Sponsor Goodnight Hutchinson, in return you will receive copies of the book, listed and have images in the book!
Please reach out today with any questions or to complete your sponsorship!

Click here to watch a short video about Goodnight Hutchinson

Sponsorship Form

What’s Happening- May 2020

Something from Mary!

Hutchinson Residents are Needed More Than Ever to #thinkLOCAL
As we prepared for Main Street 2020 for two and a half years, we never imagined a virus could spread across the world, threatening lives and bank accounts, and sending some of us home from work for weeks at a time.

We planned for each business and building owner to have information at their fingertips, considered carefully how to spend precious dollars on marketing and billboards, and how to keep businesses open during construction season. How could anyone prepare for the extension of lost business before the equipment began to move?

But here we are. Equipment has been rolled into position, roads closed, and Main Street is closed to through traffic. And COVID-19 is still here. Businesses need YOU. More specifically…your friends, neighbors and family members need YOU… to spend your dollars LOCALLY.
Local businesses are owned and operated by people YOU know and care about.

I am asking you to:

  • Spend your dollars locally with businesses who have adjusted their hours, services, and routine to manage both virus and construction
  •  Shop online at LOCAL stores and shops
  •  Spend your dollars locally, instead of driving out of town
  •  Support the businesses that donate to your child’s activities and events
  • Attend sales and downtown events this summer when it is safe
  •  When using large online sites-choose their donation options; they’ll donate to a local non-profit of your choice

I’d like you to consider:

  • That cute store downtown has an owner trying to raise their family here.
  •  The restaurant staff donate time and food to other organizations.
  •  Businesses in our community pay a significant portion of the taxes in our city and county. Taxes pay for law enforcement, roads/streets, and many other amenities we take for granted every day.
  •  The service business owner brought their family back to Hutchinson to be part of a true community.
  •  The place just around the corner; the owner moved from another community because they felt welcome here.
  •  That place down the street is run by someone who is managing cancer, and now Covid, and road construction.
  •  The salon owner is not going to sit down for weeks once social distancing is lifted. Be kind when you cannot get in right away. Oh, and don’t get your own bangs.
  • ·Put your dollars where your heart is. Hutchinson is an incredible community, which I and my family have lived for almost 19 years. We came because of a job. We stayed because of the #HutchinsonHeart. You know…. the community that steps up when there is a cancer fundraiser for a family battling disease and bills, and answers the call when a neighbor needs help. The community that griefs together when a child has died, or when people go missing. The city that populates hearts on windows, sidewalks, driveways and signs when a virus threatens. The community that has made thousands of sewn fabric masks to give to those on the front lines, and hands out food, while it snows, to people who line up for blocks. The community that creates a parade to celebrate someone during 100 years young.

This is Hutchinson.

Next year the road will be complete, we’ll be able to shake hands and hug. Let’s each do our part to make sure everyone is there with us when we come back together.

Put your money where your heart is.
spendLOCAL              shopLOCAL                 thinkLOCAL               loveLOCAL

 

www.ExploreHutchinson.com

This is where you can find updated information on:

  • If you have information that should be on these pages, PLEASE let us know and we will get it updated. Please share these resources with staff and friends!

Contact the chamber at 320-587-5252 or e-mail office@explorehutchinson.com

 


Main Street 2020

You may have noticed the  hustle and bustle downtown over the last few weeks. The Main Street 2020  project is in full swing! This is a great opportunity to get out, walk, get some fresh air and enjoy watching the progress! Please remember to follow all detours and view from a safe distance.

                       Find more about the plan, detours, parking, and construction
updated every Friday here.

 

Dairy Day- CANCELED

For the health and well being of our community, Dairy Day has been postponed until June 4, 2021.
The Agri- Business Committee works diligently to support the Agriculture Community. Although Dairy Day will not take place this year, the committee is working on additional support for our producers.
We encourage everyone to thank a farmer, be safe for farmers and give them room on the roads as they travel from field to field planting next year’s food for our tables.

If you know a farmer struggling with the overwhelming work, COVID crisis and the strains of current Ag. issues, please provide them with the support number for free and confidential counseling.
Minnesota Farm & Rural Helpline is available 24/7
833-600-2670 FREE & CONFIDENTIAL

 


May Business of the Month

Oakdale Golf Club  is located southwest of Hutchinson on beautiful Lake Allie. Mike and Laura Knodel own the course and if there is one thing they would like you to know, it’s that everyone is welcome. This 18 hole course is open to the public and also features a driving range. Not a golfer? That’s okay. Enjoy a meal at Chip Shots Grill & Bar. Chip Shots Grill & Bar is open to the public.

55106 Co Rd 38, Buffalo Lake, MN 55314

320-587-0525

info@oakdalegolfclub.com

Take a drone tour of the course here

See the Chip Shots menu here

*Currently Chip Shots is doing take out on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5pm-7pm.

Learn more about Oakdale Golf Club and Chip Shots Grill & Bar here.


 

Upcoming Events:

 

Business Logo for the Chamber's Business Connection event
Canceled for May

 

Canceled for May

 

Events canceled for MayBusiness logo for PLUSE

 

 

Please check back for June’s 2020 Event updates. As we all know, the current situation is ever-changing. We will do our very best to communicate changes with you.

 


 

Recovery and Opportunity

Time to Recover and Get Back to Business

Small Business Relief Grants Program
2020-06-15 – PPP Loan Forgiveness & 24 Week Extension Guidance 

Guidance for Outdoor Dining

MN RETAILERS ASSOCIATION- Curbside Best Practices AND FREE WEBINAR

Safety Best Practices to get back to work

McLeod County COVID-19 Website

thinkLOCAL

Stay informed and look for information from reliable and trusted sources, including:

 

Something From Mary – March 2020

It’s the Final Countdown

Nope. Not the Europe Song from the 80’s. Good guess though… I appreciate your enthusiasm for 80’s music!

It’s here. We have some dates for upcoming information sessions, we have a contractor identified as the low bidder for the project, some businesses have made upgrades to their secondary entrances; Yes- Main Street 2020 is here.

#TheBigDig   #TheMainEvent   #MainStreet2020

This is what everyone has prepared for, the season of unknowns, the season we go from busy Main Street/Highway 15 traffic to no traffic, the season also known as road construction, but wait… it’s happening here, not to someone else.

This is our community being affected. Our local business owners planning for lower revenues. Our friends, neighbors, and family members who will likely have anxiety or stress because of what we don’t know.

HOW CAN WE ALL HELP?
The MOST important piece of this, is to STILL go to these businesses.
Be positive about the adjustments, be positive to others when talking about the project.

What isn’t important: parking somewhere different, walking a little farther than we are used to.

What is important: keeping our local businesses open throughout and after construction, sending encouragement messages, sharing positive ideas.

You may or may not know I had back surgery six years ago. Oh boy, that was hard. Before surgery, I could literally be stopped mid step by agonizing nerve pain that simply cannot be described. It was clear the only way to alleviate the constant pain, the spirals of agony, was to have surgery. I had surgery in early March, the onset of spring. I was in the hospital for 4 days, then my family and I were trained on how I should walk, sit, lay down, and get into a vehicle, before I could leave the hospital. Then, I was home, for six weeks, without going outside. Nope, ice was dangerous. I followed every rule and guideline they prepared me with. (there was a 1.5”  book they gave me) The biggest rules were not to bend-lift-twist… for 3 months. Think about this the next time you sit in a chair, lay down in bed or use the bathroom. This time comes back to me frequently when I talk about this Main Street Project. It was hard. It hurt. I was surrounded by positive people who came to sit, or lay down, or walk with me in my house. (the house laps are another conversation) and then… I could leave the house! Then I could move freely when the ice was gone, then I could walk longer. Soon, I was able to go back to work, and finally, after three hard months, I could bend-lift-twist. It was slow, but I was stronger, better, faster, and pain-free.

So my analogy is this…. like surgery, the project is necessary to maintain our services at a high level of reliability. It will have some pain associated with it, but when the road is re-opened, it will be completed and done for many years, it will work better for all of us, and we’ll take it for granted within no time. A year from now we’ll be smiling that it is done, and six years from now, we’ll be so grateful we had it done when we did.

Yes, I had some sad days, and frustrating days, this project will too, but I can GUARANTEE you, if you put on a smile, and share a kind word or gesture with someone who is going through this project directly affected on Main Street, it will make a difference, and make it an easier road to the finish line. And soon, like Willie Nelson sings, we’ll be “On the Road Again!”

Be watching for many updates to come by visiting our website www.explorehutchinson.com and click on the Main Street 2020 icon.

 

February 2020 – Something From Mary!

Networking Is For Everyone

Have you seen the invitations for Business Connection or Business After Hours, and thought… my couch is calling me, or hmmmmm, I’ll have a headache that day?

Perhaps you even registered, but then decided last minute not to attend. (Which by the way, leaves someone hanging with extra food and costs-ooops!)

I want to give you some insight into these events. Here are questions I hear from people.

 “What’s the difference between Business Connection and Business After Hours?
Business Connection is the first Friday of the month from 7-8am. It is a structured hour with time to learn about the business as well as an opportunity for each attendee to introduce themselves and share a tiny piece of their business. It might be one of our financial institutions sharing new rates for home loans, or “it’s not clean until it’s Patty Clean” from Divine Clean and a reminder of spring cleaning projects.
Business After Hours is from 4-6pm on the second Thursday of the month and is an open house, usually with a tour of some kind.
Both events provide food, and information about the business. Both give you a sense of the business and their work.

“I have plenty of business.”
Great, right now you do. You might be in over your head today, but what about this summer? Reminding people of your mere existence is important in the business world. Add some padding to relationships which you will need in the future. Being at a networking event shows you are involved in the business community. I think of Renee and Jon Hantge who have talked about being part of events simply to remind people they have Tri-County Water, and perhaps you’ll remember to order the softener salt you need. Or, next week your neighbor calls and says their water softener died….. they ask you who should they call? You’ll think of Jon and Renee since you just saw them. BOOM. I see this happen ALL THE TIME.

“Oh, I know what that business does.”
Do you really? Did you know they have a new product line they are making which uses the newest technology? Do you know who they just hired as manager? Did you realize they just renovated half their building? Have you been to their location to see them make product? Too many times we all make assumptions about what we do or don’t know about a business or business person. Did you know Jay Malone of Jay Malone Motors sleeps very little, and works in the wee wee hours of the night, because of his heart for his employees and customers? If you attended Business Connection you learned that tidbit. We meet people where they work and experience their passion.
This is building relationships.

“It’s so early in the morning.”
Yep, the best part of waking up is with a bunch of business people enjoying coffee, juice and breakfast…together. (I tried to make this work in my head as a coffee jingle.) Once 8am hits, we’re done and you are off to the races, ready to make the day bright and productive. Besides…. Seeing so many smiling faces is a huge day maker. And you’re actually probably already awake, and out of bed. Several of our Business Connection attendees cannot make the afternoon events due to work schedules, and they comment frequently about the morning being such a great option for them.

“I have to drop my kids off at practice.”
Supporting your kids and your family is VERY important. But if you are dropping them off, you may be just waiting in the car. Come to Business After Hours as it is an open house format. It isn’t structured like Business Connection in the mornings. Come when you can, leave when you need to. And if your child has a game or you need to be out of town… then attend the morning events. Heidi Arndt of Vivid Image usually needs to pick up her kids by a certain time each night. She comes early, and is able to accommodate her daycare time.

“I am not the owner of the business.”
And that matters….why? You are important to the work of your organization. ANY employee of ANY Chamber Member Business is welcome to attend. This is about growing your business, growing your network. Bo Young of American Family Insurance keeps saying, “Your network is your net worth.” Ooo, so good Bo! What happens to you if the owner/manager/president/supervisor leaves? What will you do? Having a network of options to lean on is extremely important.

“Why do businesses host either of these events?”
One. They are PROUD of their work and WHO does the work. I love to listen to people who are passionate about their work. Usually I tell people I could listen all day to someone who loves to make paperclips, passion is key.
Two. What a great way to share what you do and/or make. Educating the public and other business people is rewarding as is making B2B connections. Business to Business work happens frequently in Hutchinson. You may just make a connection attending and learning what a business offers, OR, what you can offer them.

“I don’t know anyone” or “I’m kinda shy.”
Time to consider what one “hello” can do for your business. We have MANY business people attend without a plus-one with them. MANY. You don’t have to worry about being a wall flower/shy type. We don’t bite. We really don’t. You are likely to know someone and if not, you will meet people. Mackenna Koehler from RAM Buildings frequently attends and has met people without having known people previously, and you know what? She meets someone new every month.

I am personally inviting YOU to attend something new and out of the box for yourself and your team. Join us on Friday, February 7th from 7-8am for Business Connection at St Anastasia’s, and/or Thursday, February 13th any time from 4-6pm for Business After Hours at the newly remodeled Edina Realty. Watch your inbox for invitations or send me a note to be added to the list.

January 2020 – Something from Mary!

We are sliding into the new decade- the roaring twenties are back!

The new year, and in this case decade, always brings me to a place to contemplate ‘what did we do well and what could we have done better.’ Do you do this?

I have a couple of tools you might consider for your own analysis.

I learned from Steve Gasser, “Keep Stop Start” and have found this to be a great way to review aspects of a business. Will we keep or start doing this program? Do we need to start a program?

It is also an easy language for everyone to use in your business. It may seem simple, but we have found it to be very effective as staff evaluates programs, events, and services. Using it for specific products or product lines, service lines, territories or regions…. It has a host of opportunities for your specific industry.

Keep Stop Start also functions as a communication device when speaking with employees during evaluations or difficult conversations.

Now, you could SWOT it around. SWOT analysis goes deeper than Keep Stop Start. SWOT stands for Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats.

Strengths and Weakness are considered internal to the organization, while Opportunities and Threats are external. In an easy four-square-grid you and your team can map out and work through a SWOT analysis. You can do SWOT for several programs, services, products and then overlay the results to see what the common denominators are.

Again, a SWOT session is more in-depth; depending on what you are examining, you may find it helpful or more of a hindrance. Use what works best for you.

Engaging key stake holders…. Employees, into this conversation will do a couple of things. One: value add. Employees who are asked for their input are more engaged, and when they feel valued, they tend to stay.

Two: Many times, managers and owners do not know the ins and outs of a machine, program, or service like someone utilizing it on a regular basis. As a business owner or manager, ask those front-line workers what is and isn’t working. You will learn A LOT, and potentially save money, time, or customers by incorporating your staff in these conversations. Even if you are the owner and manager AND an operator…. Ask employees anyway. You may be very surprised at the responses you get.

If you have never done anything like this before with employees, here’s an idea for you. Along the left side of a post-it note, write Keep Stop Start, and hand it to your employee(s). Ask them to return that to you in two days with one thing they think your company should keep doing, one thing they think you should stop all together, and another thing that should be started. Give them time to think about it. You may find it to be VERY revealing, a great way to start conversations about the work environment, AND crazy enough, make your production increase as you find what is working and what might not be.

These are commonly used tools in all areas of business and you can feel confident in trying them with your business.

I pray you have a blessed 2020. Cheers to the New Year!

December 2019 – Something from Mary!

Change.

Yep…. We all have a relationship with this six-letter word; change.

Some people are open and welcoming to change: the beauty of the oncoming season, the newness of something novel, the opportunity to ride life’s rollercoaster.

Some people are completely opposite. They resist change in every way, shape, and form. Sometimes kicking and screaming, you’ve seen it. People’s perspective of change can make it feel unjust, unnecessary, or irrelevant.

I’ve heard it said before, and I say it myself, “people like to be part of change, but they don’t like when change happens to them.” There is a lot of truth to this.

In this season of change, here’s what it looks like for the chamber.

A new year coming up with a very large community project coming in 2020. The Main Street 2020 project lends itself to new ideas and opportunities* to help our businesses, but also will affect other programs and events which have been part of the chamber for a very long time.

*I like to consider challenges as opportunities. Upgrade. Improve. Shift.

But then came along a new staffing structure for the chamber. I’ve had the honor to work with incredible humans over the years, but it is now time to shift to a new model of staffing the chamber. This came out of necessity, but also as a surprise of sorts to me. The opportunity has come about…to Upgrade, Improve, and Shift. If I am going to talk the talk, I sure as heck will walk the walk.

 

Rachel Hollis, author and media mogul, recently got a wrist tattoo… ‘embrace the suck’ to remind herself of the yet undefined opportunities and blessings that come along with the suckiest of situations in life. So, if you are one of the many people who do not like change, this may be helpful. Or, you like to also complain, so my idea is stupid, has no merit, and was a waste of time.

But yet, here’s my hope for YOU:

The next time you find yourself amid the opportunities/challenges/changes of life, embrace the suck, hold your head up and walk through it. Right straight through it.

May the events of this past decade help you float into a fabulous 2020.

November 2019 – Something from Mary!

You get out of it what you put into it.

Much like your gym membership, your results from the chamber depend on if you USE the membership.

The Hutchinson Chamber has 330 members. Of these 330 businesses run by smart, respectable people, at least half just pay the invoice and let ‘er ride.

BUT,

WHAT IF YOU…….

  • Updated your webpage on our website

(Yes, as a chamber member you have a webpage on our website!)

  • Posted job openings on our website…. Included in your membership, through your webpage!
  • Posted your sales, events, press releases to your webpage
  • Brought in brochures and business cards for us to share with new residents and Visitors
  • Attended just one networking event, such as Business Connection in the morning or Business After Hours in the afternoon/early evening

You could Possibly……

  • Reach someone new who is searching online for your service or product
  • Show up quicker on a google search because of this listing.
  • Have a position filled because someone saw your listing on the website
  • Bring in new revenue from a new customer who just didn’t realize what you do or have
  • Provide the one thing that brings someone to Hutchinson feeling confident in their decision because they know you are here
  • Start a new business relationship with someone you met while networking and sharing your story

 

Or not.

You get out of it, what you put into it.

Everything I listed above is available to all chamber members, without additional costs or fees.

If you haven’t, perhaps you should let us know you’d like to know just one more thing about your membership, because ….. membership has its privileges.

10am-4pm Monday through Friday 320-587-5252 Give us a jingle, or email us at info@explorehutchinson.com

October 2019 – Something from Mary!

 

Here’s an Idea:

Let’s not wait until January 2nd to make changes, get in gear, or start something new.

Three months are left of 2019.

Chamber President Mary Hodson

Chamber President Mary Hodson

THREE MONTHS. 92 DAYS.

Let’s make them count by focusing on our updates now, starting today, October 1st.

So many times our tendency is to say “I’ll do that next week,” “I’ll start on Monday,” and don’t do a thing because we are too busy with the things right in front of us. These ‘things’ suck our energy away, leaving important items by the wayside.

This could be a change in diet or exercise, but it could also be an important book to read, manuals to update, or something else random, or otherwise significant. Wouldn’t it feel great to get to January 2, and say… I have that already done, or look at the progress made in three months.

I encourage you to look for three things to consider doing:

Something for you. Something that will make you feel good or better. Something that can help you achieve peace in your life.

Something at work. What have you been putting off,

or waiting for “the time”, or is really high importance but the urgency hasn’t been equally as high.

Finally, how about something for your fellow humans. Whether it is working with a community group, donation of time, talent or treasure, help for a neighbor, or a letter to a friend you haven’t communicated with for a while. Find something to help someone and/or bring them joy.

Now…. go out and make a difference, but remember, take care of you too!

September 2019 – Something From Mary!

CHANGE.

It is inevitable. Change will happen. Usually when you least expect it. Am I right?

This past month we’ve experienced change at the chamber- WELCOME JILL BARRALL as our new Membership Coordinator!

Many times change brings anxiety, frustration and opportunity. Wait, what? Opportunity?

YES friends, opportunity!

I’m telling you right now, every piece of anxiety-ridden, frustration-inducing change is an opportunity to update, improve, and evaluate your situation. And this is where I get all jacked up. The OPPORTUNITY to review what has been, what is and what could be…. The new, the improved, the innovative, the re-designed, the wholesale change, or maybe just a tweak.

As I have written here before, I hope you plan for the unexpected disaster, or the unexpected staff turn-over, but I hope for you the ability to take in the opportunity that may come from these or similar situations.

Now, let’s talk about planned change… building, growing, strategic, future minded conversations. If you want a voice, if you want to be part of the next few years of Hutchinson growth and opportunity; I am pleased to invite you to look at the Blandin Community Leadership Program. The opportunities are endless in Hutchinson, MN, and #MuchInHutch can grow substantially with your help.

I, along with Matt Jaunich, Hutchinson’s City Administrator, submitted an application for Hutchinson to be accepted into Blandin’s program. I am pleased to say we were accepted and are now in the recruitment stage of the process.

I could write another three hours about the benefits of Blandin and the incredible personal and professional opportunity it is to participate, but let’s face it, I do not have the time. Blandin can tell their story far better than I can. But here’s the quick facts:

  • Applications are being accepted through December 9th, 2019
  • All expenses are paid by Blandin Foundation
  • Retreat week is February 24-28, 2020
  • Three community workshop days follow this retreat week
  • Attendance is REQUIRED for all week and the workshops
  • Leadership Training, Personal Development and Team Building are included in the week
  • 24 people, 12 women and 12 men will be chosen to attend

If you are interested, use any of the links included in this article to go to Blandin’s website. Learn the Blandin Story- it’s pretty incredible, and look at the dates involved. If you can commit to the dates, please consider applying.

Again, you have until December 9th to apply, but that time will go quickly.

A selection committee will review all applications, and along with the Blandin Board make the final selections along with alternates for this program.

Change is good.

Change is constant.

Change is a catalyst.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Mead