The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce meets with area businesses to provide support during Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce held a teleconference today to discuss what businesses need to know about the Coronavirus and how it’s going to impact their day-to-day operations.

During an online meeting with local businesses, the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce announced they’re developing a new website, called “SupportJoplin.com” to help area businesses explain what changes they’re making to their customers. Erin Slifka with the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce says “Our whole purpose of this is we want to continue commerce, we want to make sure our local business owners and the people in our community, we’re still seeing business happen.”

The website will ultimately be a one-stop shop for many chamber businesses to provide services they may not have been able to previously or on their own. Slifka says “I know we have some local software developers working on an app for those that don’t have a connection to the Grub Hubs or the other delivery services like Door Dash.”

It’s not just the chamber pitching in, the Downtown Joplin Alliance helps several locally own shops that don’t have a corporate office to help them through this process. Lori Haun with the Downtown Joplin Alliance says “Sometimes, particularly with small business, people feel very alone, and so it’s sometimes good if we can pulling the businesses together in something of a solidarity of ‘hey we’re all in this together, what are the resources we can share.”

Restaurants are among the hardest hit, especially with group restrictions. Steve Williams is the General Manager of Club 609 downtown and says they’ve already started making changes to delivery services. Williams says “We’ve expanded our region, typically for lunch we just did downtown, but now we’re doing basically Joplin city limits, so we’re doing anywhere in Joplin you call us we’re going to deliver lunch or dinner.”

However, continuing changes to group restrictions, could leave 609 with no customers inside, which could hurt the wait staff, which is why Williams says some kind of financial assistance is needed. Williams says “A lot live paycheck to paycheck or night to night in some cases with servers on tips because they’re dependent on that.”

Officials with the chamber say they’ve been in contact with their counterparts in Jefferson City and are hopeful some kind of assistance plan will be available soon.

Click here for the Support Joplin website.

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