August Advantage 2020

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August 2020


2019-2020 Chamber Board

OFFICERS Chair of the Board Aaron Benike

Benike Construction

Treasurer James Kelly

Construction Partnership

Secretary Emily Benner Preventice

Chamber President Kathleen Harrington

MEMBERS Laurie Ackerman Opportunity Services Chad Behnken Hamilton Real Estate

MISSION The Chamber promotes business success which supports a thriving community.

VISION Rochester-area businesses are empowered to succeed in a diverse and collaborative climate.

VALUES As a service organization, the Chamber is committed to conducting our work in accordance with the following values:

Collaboration | Diversity |Innovation Integrity | Proactivity

Christy Blade Post Bulletin, LLC Jonathan Buck Five West Kitchen + Bar Dr. Lori Carrell University of Minnesota Rochester Steve Dunn Taco JED John Eckerman RSP Architects Scott Eggert Broadway Plaza Jessica Eidem IBM Corporation Cathy Fraser Mayo Clinic Greg Griffiths Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.

Kathleen Harrington PRESIDENT 507-288-1122


Sam Gill DIRECTOR OF PROGRAMS 507-424-5687

Lizzy Haywood* People’s Food Cooperative Kevin Higgins Olmsted Medical Center Marge Kelley Express Employment Professionals Samuel Kwainoe Farmers Insurance Sarah Miller White Space Matt Morehead Carlson Capital Management Michael Muñoz Rochester Public Schools Dan Nistler Merchants Bank Ryan Nolander Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc.

Cheryl Krage DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS 507-424-5699

Nick Rethemeier

Tim Shea



Nate Nordstrom Brandhoot Jack Priggen Cardinal of Minnesota Joselyn Raymundo Rochester Home Infusion John Reed* Rochester Airport Co. Therese White Think Bank *Denotes at large members of the Executive Committee


Cherie Thurlow RECEPTIONIST 507-288-1122


Results from Economic Impact of COVID-19 Survey First of all, thank you for filling out the Economic Impact Analysis Survey. These results will be shared with our partners RAEDI, Olmsted County, and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve. Below please find summary statements of results of the first two in the series of surveys we will be conducting. Your responses are valuable to the County and the Minneapolis Federal Reserve in understanding the economic landscape and to us for developing future programming.

Chamber Advantage USPS 446-900 is published monthly by the Rochester Area Chamber of Commerce at 220 S Broadway Ste 100 | Rochester, MN 55904 | Phone: 507-288-1122 Issue #8 Volume #12 Periodical Postage paid at Rochester, Minnesota | Annual Subscription: $20 (free to Chamber members) | Aaron Benike, Chair of the Board | Editor: Kathleen Harrington and Sam Gill Printed by Johnson Printing | Postmaster: Send address changes to: Chamber Advantage, 220 S Broadway Ste 100, Rochester, MN 55904 or email:


- Mark your Calendar Upcoming Chamber Programs AM Espresso

• Friday, August 7 | Virtual Zoom Meeting | 8 - 9am • Register here: • Sponsored by: Beyond Kitchens, Maxabilities, Rochester Golf and Country Club, & Smith Schafer & Associates, LTD,

Legislative Recap

• Thursday, August 20| Virtual Zoom Meeting | 11:30am - 1pm • Sponsored by: Charter Communications, Mayo Clinic, Minnesota Energy Resources, and West Bank

Community Matters: Future of Community Collaboration • Tuesday, September 15| Virtual Zoom Meeting | 11:30am - 1pm • Sponsored by: Bremer Bank, Rochester Public Utilities, and Mayo Clinic

AM Espresso

• Friday, September 18 | Virtual Zoom Meeting | 8 - 9am • Register here: • Sponsored by: Charter House

40th Annual Golf Outing • Monday, September 28 | NEW VENUE: Rochester Golf and Country Club • Brought to you by Treasure Island Resort and Casino • Register for tee times: (See Page12 for more information)

2020 Economic Summit: Save the Date! • Friday, December 4 | 8am - Noon | Format TBD • Featuring Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari • Sponsored by: Merchant’s Bank, Mayo Clinic, RPU, and Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency


LGR Virtual Session

“Small Business Resiliency & Innovation During COVID-19” On Thursday, July 9, the Chamber welcomed small business owners and operators to participate in a virtual LGR session with members of the 2020 cohort. Representatives from Allegra, Limb Lab, and Nellie’s on Third discussed the challenges each organization has faced as a result of the pandemic and the innovative steps they have taken to overcome obstacles and continue to serve customers. This was the final LGR session before the cohort graduates on August 13.



“Free Mask Monday” Event a Great Success Following Governor Walz’s Executive Order regarding mandatory masking, the Rochester Chamber was tasked with distributing 148,000 masks to area businesses and nonprofits. On Monday, August 3, the Chamber held a drive-through mask pickup event. Thank you to all our partners,125 Live, Chamber Ambassadors, honorary Ambassador Logan Ackerman, and the media, which let the community know about this opportunity to make sure we are Rochester Ready. Let’s all mask up - socially distance - care about each other, and stay healthy!



#ShopLocalSafely A critical element of our “Path Forward” to a successful recovery for small business and ensuring that our economy stays open is making certain that everything is done to protect the safety and health of all employees, customers and returning visitors. The Chamber’s #ShopLocalSafely video series highlights the steps local businesses are taking to implement COVID-19 Preparedness Plans to keep everyone safe and instill a high-degree of confidence with customers and employees alike.

Watch the full collection of videos here: 7


Chamber Continues to Advocate for Reducing the Cost of Doing Business in our County In accordance with the Chamber’s 2020 Public Affairs Strategic Objectives, a primary focus of the organization’s advocacy efforts has been on reducing the cost of doing business in Olmsted County and strongly supporting efforts to provide assistance and aid to small businesses for economic recovery.

Local Advocacy City of Rochester • The Chamber is an active participant on the City’s Economic Stability Taskforce and constantly emphasizes the need for strong small business support measures • The Chamber strongly advocated for and was pleased with the City Council’s decision to allocate $1 million dollars for small business recovery relief

Olmsted County • The Chamber advocated and was very grateful for the County’s decision to extend the property tax payment deferral to December 15 without penalty and interest • The Chamber strongly advocated for the allocation of Olmsted County CARES Act dollars to promote economic recovery, especially small business relief

For more info, visit: 8

Eggs and Issues

Potential Special Session: Will There Be Bi-partisan Agreement on Major Issues? More than 130 guests tuned in on Thursday, July 9 at 8am for the Chamber’s virtual Eggs and Issues event featuring Sentate Minority Leader Nick Fentz, Senator Carla Nelson, and Senator Dave Senjem sharing their thoughts and perspectives on the special session, unresolved issues, and likely outcomes. This event was moderated by Betsy Singer of ABC 6 News and was made possible thanks to the sponsors featured below.

Sponsored by:

Special Session Update: Future Session Likely Lawmakers in St. Paul were called back to a special session by Governor Walz on Monday, July 13. See below for a breakdown of what was passed and what was left unresolved when the legislature adjorned early on July 21. In order to further extend his emergency powers, Governor Walz will likely call lawmakers back in the middle of August for a third special session. PASSED Police Accountability Reform Package • Provide better mental health and crisis intervention training • Bans chokeholds in all but extreme circumstances • Outlaws warrior training • Establishes a duty to intervene • More info: UNRESOLVED Bonding Bill • Local projects include: Runway improvements for Rochester Airport, Cascade Park improvements, and work on Hwy 14 & County Rd 104 Tax Package • Conformity with Section 179


Civic Engagement: Information and Resources The Chamber has a longstanding tradition of civic engagement and encouraging voter participation in all elections. Below please find information about the Chamber’s jointlysponsored candidate forums and additional voter information. More info can be found on the Chamber’s website: www.

KEY DATES • Absentee Voting for Primary Election: June 26 – Aug. 10 • Primary Election: Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2020 • Absentee Voting for General Election: Sept.18 – Nov. 2 • General Election: Tuesday, Nov.3

WHAT IS ON YOUR BALLOT? Learn more about the items featured on your ballot by entering in your location to access a sample:

ABSENTEE VOTING Voters are able to vote absentee prior to the primary and general elections in the following ways: • Absentee by mail • Absentee in-person • Absentee in-person direct balloting • Link to the absentee ballot request form:

FIND YOUR POLLING PLACE PLEASE NOTE: The City of Rochester has modified the available polling locations for the primary and general elections.


Check the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Elections and Voting Website to see if your local polling place has been changed:


Chamber Partners to Host Candidate Forums As in years past, the Chamber partnered with the League of Women Voters, the Rochester Post Bulletin, and the Rochester Public Library to host a series of candidate forums. These live-streamed events featured local City Council and County Commissioner candidates and incumbents, and were right in-line with the Chamber’s commitment to civic engagement.

Monday, July 20 Olmsted County District 5 • Brian Morgan • Jim Bier • Regina Mustafa Tuesday, July 21 2nd Ward Candidate Forum • Denise Welte • Mark Bransford • Michael Wojcik

Wednesday, July 22 4th Ward Candidate Forum • Abel Brito • Katrina Pulham • Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick • PJ Calkins Thursday, July 23 6th Ward Candidate Forum • Craig Ugland • David Diercks • Donavan Bailey • Molly Dennis • Thomas Rigby • Todd Pisarski

To view on-demand recordings of the forums, visit:

www. 11


New Venue, New Format, Safe Fun This year, the Chamber’s 40th Annual Golf Outing, brought to you by Treasure Island Resort and Casino, will be held on Monday, September 28 at the Rochester Golf and Country Club. In close consultation with the RGCC staff, we will be implmeneting the following COVID Preparedness Plan to keep everyone safe, healthy, and enjoying the golfing experience. FORMAT • Tee Times starting at 8:30am and proceeding in 8 minute intervals • Event will be held completely outdoors • Limited contact registration with six feet social distancing at all times • Teams of 4 individuals • Golfers should arrive no earlier than 30 minutes prior to your assigned tee time, and leave no more than 30 minutes after your game has concluded • Carts will have two riders and be equipped with Plexi-glass dividers FOOD AND BEVERAGE • All groups will be served a pre-boxed lunch on the course or at registration • Groups registering and teeing off between 8:30am and 10:30am will receive breakfast • Groups registering and teeing off between 10:30am and 1:30pm will recieve appetizers following the round

REGISTER NOW FOR THE 40TH ANNUAL GOLF OUTING PLEASE NOTE WHEN REGISTERING: you will be selecting both meal and tee time preferences. If you would prefer to tee off before or after 10:30am, act quickly - space is expected to fill up quickly.


On July 16, the Chamber hosted its third Virtual AM Espresso with 125 LIVE and Central Bark. Sylwia Bujak-Oliver of 125 LIVE and Lenny Hoisington of Central Bark shared the policies and practices they use to keep their customers and employees safe. Attendees also heard from Jerome Ferson of the United Way of Olmsted County about the Running Start Backpack program, which gives backpacks to school-aged children in Rochester.

125 Live • Divided lobby so there is one entrance and one exit • Temperature screenings at the door • Sneeze guards • Socially-distance 6’ stickers • Removed furniture • Created fitness machine shields • Divided fitness center

(Click on the photo to watch Sylwia’s #ShopLocalSafely video)

Central Bark • Constantly disinfecting • Sent survey to customers on priorities for coming back, asked how they were doing • Educating to make people feel comfortable and welcome • Curbside pickup and drop off • Socially-distant Paw prints 6’ apart • Only four guests allowed in the retail area • Employee temperature checks

(Click on the photo to watch Lenny’s #ShopLocalSafely video)



Join the team committed to helping businesses through the unprecedented challenges from the coronavirus outbreak. Volunteer as we recover and return to the “New Normal” in these positions: ✓ Mentors offer confidential business guidance, either in person or online. ✓ Subject Matter Experts provide focused knowledge based on their professional skills or industry. ✓ Workshop Presenters lead seminars and events to help entrepreneurs meet their goals and achieve success. ✓ Chapter Support Volunteers share their skills in marketing, tech, finance, fundraising and more to help expand the outreach of SCORE.


LuAnn Buechler enjoys being a SCORE mentor because she loves seeing people step into their dreams and live them full out. LuAnn has 15 years of experience in the Hospitality Industry, 8 years with Mayo Clinic, and now 16 years operating her own consulting business. Her mission is to help people succeed in life and business. She does this through a simple yet powerful system that helps people discover their true passions and set a course to living those in their life. In business, it speaks to creating Culture in your organization. She helps young startups and struggling entrepreneurs through her business and as a SCORE Volunteer! Her favorite quote is, "Do what you love, in service to people who love what you do." Steve Farber, author of Love is Just Damn Good Business.


Local Heart. Local Adventure. Shrpa enables locals to share multi-stop, self-guided adventures that highlight what they love about their community. Over 25 Sherpas

Over 200 Local Places

Over 100 Adventures




Thank you for your continued investment in our community. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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A.B. Systems, Inc. Abel Signs, Inc. Active PT Ads & Art AgVantage Software, Inc. All-Star Basements Altra Federal Credit Union ANCOM Communications/ Midwest Radio Rentals Armon Architecture, Inc Arvig Media Bird, Jacobsen & Stevens, P.C. Bolton & Menk, Inc. Cardinal of Minnesota, LTD. Casey’s General Store Central Bark Rochester Charlie’s Eatery & Pub Chester’s Kitchen & Bar Chrissy’s Studio Coordinated Business Systems D & R Star Amusements Do! Learning & Development Doubletree Rochester/Downtown Dunn Bros. Coffee Dynamic Masonry Products Elcor Realty of Rochester Essig Agency, Inc. Family Tree Landscape Nursery, Inc.

Ford Metro Glass Foresight Bank Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery GEOTEK GLK Orthodontics Golfview Village Fourth Addition Greater Rochester Arts and Cultural Trust Green Lawncare Irrigation & Service Company Green Prairie Rehabilitation and Assisted Living Grinde & Dicke Law Firm P.A. Hamilton Real Estate, Inc.

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Hanny’s Inc. Haworth & Company, Ltd Heartland Tire & Service Hicks Electric Inc. Hight & Randall, LTD Hilton Garden Inn Home Instead Senior Care Homes of Harmony Hy-Vee Innovative Building Concepts Integrated Technology Engineering Jim Whiting Nursery & Garden Center, Inc. K & M Glass Kemps LLC Vendor # 11464 Key Builders, Inc. Kids On The Go Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. Kraus-Anderson Kreofsky Building Supplies - Rochester Office Kruse Lumber Co. KSMQ Public Service Media, Inc. Kuntz Electric Inc. License Center Rochester Lion Crest Leadership Marcia Marcoux Masterson Staffing Solutions McNeilus Companies Metafile Information Systems Mosquito Squad Nickelson Painting Inc Noble RV NorthStar Financial Partners, LLC Northwestern Mutual On Track Boutique Power Partner MN Quality Building Maintenance Rapp Strategies, Inc. Realife Cooperative of Rochester Riverwalk Rochester

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Reagan Outdoor Advertising of Rochester Rochester Area Foundation Rochester Auto Care Rochester Catholic Schools Rochester Framing & Fine Art Printing Rochester MN Properties, LLC Rochester Public Schools Schwickert Company SE MN Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Assoc. SeeMe Productions, LLC Senator Carla Nelson Servicemaster Distributor Operations

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ServiceMaster of Rochester Sheila Kiscaden Signature Flight Support Summit Fire Protection Superior Screeners Tealstone Homeowners Association, Inc. The Maven on Broadway The Pinske Edge The Reading Center/Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota The Salvation Army Think Bank

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Timberland Heights Trek Analytics Two Rivers Habitat for Humanity Valor Mechanical Villas on Pepin Virgils, LLC Vivial Wendland Utz, LTD Werner Electric Supply Co.

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Thrivent Financial - Rochester Group

Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe of Rochester

Zumbro Valley Health Center

Let’s uncomplicate things. And yeah, that can start with a simple business checking account. NMLSR ID 440195 Member FDIC


08_June_RochChamberAd_Uncomplicated.indd 1

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Thank you for your investment in our community. HYATT House Rochester Mayo Clinic Area (507) 203-8991

At HYATT House Rochester Mayo Clinic Area, you’re not just a guest, you’re a welcome resident. Experience fully-equipped studios and one-bedroom suites and the comforts and conveniences of complimentary hot breakfast, H Bar, shuttle service, and more. To the generous welcome that makes our house a HYATT and the spaces and places that make our guests feel more like residents, HYATT House is waiting to welcome you. Now booking for January 2021, email hhrochester@ingrouphospitality to learn more.

Rochester Beacon Academy

(507) 258-5351| Rochester Beacon Academy’s mission is to provide a safe learning community in a secondary (6-12th grade) setting, respecting the individual and differentiated needs of learners, empowering them to reach their full potential and join their community with success. Rochester Beacon Academy focuses on utilizing highly structured techniques to assist students who have difficulties with organization, socialization, and sensory differences while supporting students to make a successful transition into young adulthood, to live independently and maintain engagement in the community. As a school, we provide smaller class sizes, higher student to staff ratio, and a variety of support to students with varying educational needs.

Continuum Financial Group

(507) 289-0737| Continuum Financial Group is a locally owned fee based financial planning team practice that provides objective advice and education to help families, professionals and retirees to make sense of the many financial decisions they may face over their lifetime. We’re not product driven, sales focused or high pressure; we are your partner over the continuum of your life.



NEWSREELS Northstar Financial Partners

(507) 281-6650 | Pratz, Kutzke, & Associates, LLP would like to announce a new name for our firm – NorthStar Financial Partners, LLC. This new name took effect on July 1, 2020. We continue to offer the same professional, personalized and knowledgeable service our clients have come to expect. Only now with a new name. We chose NorthStar Financial Partners, LLC, as our name – NorthStar for Minnesota, Financial for our profession and Partners because we partner with you to help achieve your goals. The word “Partners” will also help us to attract new advisors, as we look for growth in our firm. Visit us at

Rochester Community & Technical College

Rochester Community and Technical College English Instructor, Scannell McCormick, Ph.D., has published his third book of poetry in just over a year. His latest book, The First of Pisces, follows his second book, The Elements, released earlier this year. His first book of poems, The Song of Lies, was published last year. “Because publishing poetry is difficult, I’m delighted that, after 25 years, my poems have found homes,” said McCormick, “I hope that anyone who reads my poetry will find something memorable in it without worrying about what it means.” Scannell McCormick received his doctorate in English in creative writing-poetry from Western Michigan University in 1995. McCormick began teaching in 1985 and has taught at RCTC since 2001.

Southeast Service Cooperative (SSC)

Southeast Service Cooperative (SSC) is a recipient of the 2020 Best Places to Work award through Rochester Workforce Development, Inc. This is the 8th time SSC has won this award. “Our highly dedicated staff and supportive board of directors makes SSC a great place to work. These unprecedented times have challenged all of us, but we are taking care of each other and staying focused on our members’ needs,” shared Steve Sallee, SSC’s Executive Director. The purpose of the program is to recognize some of the best employers in the area and provide vital information to companies about the practices they use to attract and retain employees.


Periodical Postage


220 South Broadway, Suite 100 Rochester, MN 55904 507-288-1122

Rochester, MN


BUSINESS COMMUNITY Meet Jarett Jones, Commercial Banker At Merchants Bank, we believe in doing our part to create thriving communities - and that starts by being a financial partner for your business with Commercial Bankers like Jarett. He’ll put his more than 20 years of financial experience with businesses in the local Rochester market to work for you. I look forward to serving clients through Merchants’ community-focused approach. I want to do my part as a community banker to help our local businesses during this time. - Jarett Jones

See what Jarett suggests for your business’s next financial step. Get in touch today.

 (507) 282-7535  1600 Greenview Drive SW, Rochester  (507) 535-1520  3586 55th Street NW, Rochester  Member FDIC