To the MEMBERS of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce:
Yesterday in my Chamber office we had an interesting debate. Should we or shouldn’t we implement a plan to have Chamber members and visitors ring a bell and fill out a health questioner before being admitted to the office.
I have made my decision and I would like to share my thought process.
First, this message is not intended to second guess other Chambers or businesses that choose to make a different decision. I respect their right to do what they think appropriate.
I never had the honor of serving this country in the military like my Father and Brothers did. I never had a bullet or bomb threaten my existence. I never spent a night in a fox hole wondering if I would survive the night. Frankly, I can’t imagine the fear they and other men and women experienced. I have always appreciated their sacrifice and courage.
And now, in this time of crisis, when our members and communities we serve need us the most, I am debating if we should work behind closed doors to protect ourselves? Something is wrong!
I am aware of the risks COVID-19 presents. I am also a part of the group of Americans that the health community says is at greatest risk from COVID-19. Over 70, Check; had cancer, Check; Diabetes, Check; Heart Disease, Check!
The bottom line is this. The Chamber members and the communities we serve have been very good to us! They have supported us through thick and thin. They attend our programs, sponsor our events and give their time, talents and treasure to make us successful! They were there when we needed them and I will be darn if we won’t be there WITH OPEN DOORS now that they need us!
The only questioner they need to fill out should ask “How can this Chamber help you?”
We need to help our businesses prosper; keep people employed and work to ensure that our children and grandchildren have the same wonderful future and opportunities we had. And the best way to accomplish this objective is to keep our Chamber running at full speed so when a member calls, we are prepared to assist.
So bring it on COVID-19! The Nacogdoches County Chamber is ready to fight!
C. Wayne Mitchell, President & CEO, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce