A Message from the Executive Director - 12/21

    December 21, 2021
    As we close the year 2021, I am reminded of Yogi Berra’s famous quote that fits our current situation, “It’s déjà vu all over again”.  It seems that Covid has reared its ugly head again, and it now feels like March 2020. This recent surge has indeed caused NFL games to be postponed and rescheduled, NHL teams to shut down until after Christmas, and fifty-five NBA players are in health and safety protocols. College sports have also had to cancel or postpone games. Indeed, the EG Chamber needed to cancel its Holiday Business After Hours at PMC Media right after successful and well-attended events at the Greenwich Club, Felicia’s, and Mott & Chace / Sotheby’s, Int. Realty.

    Accordingly, as the Covid Omicron variant has emerged and been identified, Rhode Island’s hospitals are experiencing staffing challenges, longer hospital stays, and emergency rooms are at full capacity. On December 16, Governor Dan McKee issued executive order 21-116: PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH BY WEARING MASKS OR FACE COVERINGS OR OBTAINING PROOF OF VACCINATION IN INDOOR PUBLIC PLACES.  THIS ORDER WILL BE IN EFFECT FROM DECEMBER 20 THROUGH JANUARY 18, 2022. It was recently reported that Rhode Island had the most newly identified cases of Coronavirus per capita among the fifty states over a recent seven-day period. Those numbers are clearly a trend in the wrong direction, but we are hoping that the Governor’s Executive Order and the passing of the holidays will ease this situation.
    On the bright side,  Rhode Island is sixth among the states in the percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of the Coronavirus vaccine. Also, Rhode Island is second among the states in the percentage of the population that is fully vaccinated. Hopefully, this is going to mean good news for our small business community.  In addition, unlike in 2020, we know our small businesses have the tools, resourcefulness, creativity, and resilience to get past this situation. We know that 2021 was a great bounce-back year for many of our small businesses. Hopefully, this current situation will be temporary, and the momentum that was built in 2021 will continue in 2022.

    The EG Chamber plans to continue that momentum with a Business After Hours at the Greenwich Odeum on January 25.  We are also planning on holding the EG Chamber’s Annual Meeting on February 17 at Quidnessett Country Club. Our meeting will feature Governor McKee, so it promises to be very topical. We should state that the EG Chamber will continue to follow applicable Covid protocols and take the necessary steps to ensure that all safety precautions are taken.

    In general, the EG Chamber stands ready to work with state and Town of East Greenwich officials to help our small businesses to get through this most recent surge. As necessary, we will continue to be a Coronavirus resource for the community.

    This brings to mind another Yogi Berra quote: “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” We will choose to take the positive direction and help make 2022 a good year.

    On behalf of the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and staff, we wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.