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Chamber Connection – March 19, 2020

Lezley Brown
By Lezley Brown, CEO/President Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce

We have woken up this morning continuing to live in strange, strange times. The truth is we are walking in uncharted waters, and things are going to continue to change by the hour. I want you to know that we understand you are sitting at your business wondering what to do, and quite honestly, might be pushing the pause button on fear because you know there’s just no room for it right now. You are making plans and being adaptable, and that is the right thing!  

Our motto at the Chamber is Keep Moving Forward.  In that spirit, I would like to ask a favor of you.  We MUST shop local right now. We must eat local, shop local, LIVE local!  Our small businesses NEED us, and we NEED them, too! Each time that you shop locally, please post a picture on Facebook and use the hashtag #loveourtownSS.  Let’s begin a wave of promotion that is a light for all to see.

It seems dark outside, uncertain for sure. Hopkins County is known for how we treat each other in hard times. This, my friends, is one of them. Please be kind. Please be supportive. Love your neighbor. Check on your friends. Ask your kids if they are afraid. Be present. We don’t know how long this will last, so we will just take things one step at a time. We are here for you.

I reached out to our Chamber members early in the week to ask what modifications they have made to their businesses in an effort to be more available and helpful.  The truth is, this information is changing by the hour. My plan was to publish a list detailing all information that I have received, but with it changing so fast, it will be different by the time you read this.  Here is some concrete information that we have.  

Restaurants

Most restaurants have moved to curbside service and some are even offering home delivery.  Just call ahead and visit with your favorite restaurant, and they will bring your food out to you. You can also visit “Takeout Together” on Facebook and Instagram.  This is a place where restaurants are publishing current information and items they are offering. 

Shopping

Most clothing stores are offering online shopping, curbside pickup, and even doorstep delivery.  Please, please don’t forget about your favorite place to shop during this time. They are all fearful and need your help!

Groceries

Our grocery have changed their hours of operation.  They are closing at nigh to disinfect and re-stock shelves.  They are also limiting quantities of items that you can purchase.  Hopefully, this will help distribute goods in a more effective manner.

Pharmacies

Our pharmacies are open.  Some have closed their lobbies but can be reached through the drive through or curbside service.  

Museums

All museums are closed to the public.  Most of them still have staffers and can be reached by phone.  Main St. Theatre is also closed.

Library, Senior Citizen Center

Closed indefinitely.  Meal-A-Day is still making daily deliveries.

Hotels

All of our hotels are open for business and have increased their cleaning protocols. 

Energy Companies

Our energy companies have closed their lobbies to visitors but can be reached by phone if needed.

Hospital

CHRISTUS has published these followable guidelines…

  1.  Visitors must be 18 years or older.  
  2. Visitation hours will be 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  3. An essential caregiver may be allowed to remain overnight with approval from the Charge Nurse.
  4. Visitors must complete the Visitor Screening Tool.
  5. Visitors must have a normal temperature.
  6. Patients and/or families should designate a point-person to communicate within the family about the patient’s status so as not to overwhelm our phone system.
  7. CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Frances Hospital Security and Hospital Associates may limit patient visitation to protect our patients, physicians, and/or associates.

Hospital Entrances:

  • Main Lobby Entrance will be open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. with clinical staff posted
  • Emergency Department Entrance will be open 24-hours a day, 7-days a week with clinical staff posted

School districts in Hopkins County

All school districts in Hopkins County are accessing their situation by the day.  Plans for upcoming weeks will be announced by the end of the week.  

SSISD: FREE MEALS PROVIDED BY SSISD

  • Beginning Tuesday, March 17th, SSISD Food Services will be providing FREE meals for ALL SSISD students AND any children who are between the ages of 1 – 18. Meals will be available for pick-up each Monday – Friday from 7:30 – 11 a.m. until further notices. Students will be able to pick up one breakfast and one lunch meal at this time.  Students do not have to attend any one of these campuses to participate. Pick-up areas will be curbside grab-and-go and will be held at the following locations across Sulphur Springs:
    • SSES (Lee Street bus lane)
    • Bowie (Mockingbird Lane student drop off/pick up lane)
    • Bush (South bus lane circle to awning), and
    • Douglass (Calvert Street awning).

Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Office, Civic Center

Both are open at this time with limited staff

Chamber of Commerce

We unfortunately are postponing our Book Club opening and the Lunch + Learn scheduled for March 27.  These will be rescheduled.

Business Highlight

During the year 2020, The Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce is highlighting a business each week.  Please join me in congratulating our Business of the Week for March 19, S&S Professional Drafting Services. 

Author: Faith Huffman

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