GOLF CLASSIC – 1 p.m. Join the Otsego Chamber of Commerce for the 35th Annual Golf Classic to support the Chamber’s efforts to help the local community thrive. Sign up for golf tournament at 1 and Lunch/networking event at 11:30. Registration required. Oneonta Country Club, 9 Country Club Dr., Oneonta. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Zoom town hall Tuesday, July 27, to discuss workforce needs for small businesses.
The participants included Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, and Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie.
The overall sentiments of the Zoom call echoed the reality of a huge problem with understaffing and the difficulties hiring employees in Otsego County.
Business owners spoke of restaurants being unable to service customers due to staff shortages and some businesses being forced to close early based on having no staff available.
Audrey Benkenstein, from Opportunities for Otsego, spoke about how many of her organization’s positions required advanced degrees and training, which made finding employees very difficult.
“We serve a vulnerable population and without staffing our programs suffer,” Benkenstein said. She said there were also lack of transportation options, lack of internet issues and lack of day care assistance available.
CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Kimberley Hawkey to perform mix of songs from Jazz, Broadway, and folk. She will be joined by pianist/vocalist Loren Daniels, bassist Evan Jagels, and drummer Graeme Francis. Music charge, $15. Origins Cafe, 558 Beaver Meadow Rd., Cooperstown. 607-437-2862 or visit www.celebrateorigins.com
NOBLE EAGLE – 2 p.m. Cooperstown Senior Community Center presents Joshua Ives sharing his story of his military experience in Afghanistan through photography. Brick building behind St. Mary’s Church, 31 Elm St., Cooperstown. firstname.lastname@example.org
I and multitudes of people, from the President of the United States on down, have tried to convince people to get vaccinated when they are eligible, and to maintain basic public health precautions; wearing masks properly, washing hands and surfaces frequently, and maintaining social distance. Only about 60 percent of the adult population has followed these recommendations and a similar percent say they will get vaccinated.
If this continues, we may never get to go back to things the way they were, because enough of the population will remain vulnerable and the virus will still circulate and mutate. Once it mutates enough, it will defeat the immunity provided by most of the vaccines.
So, to the people who refuse to follow the best practices to eliminate COVID as a continued threat to normal, social, life, if you are not going to get the shot for some reason you picked up through rumor, learned on the internet or because of political position, maybe you will try to protect yourself, friends and family. If not, it is hurting you where it really matters, in the wallet.
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE – 8:30 a.m. Women business owners gather online to discuss their adventures in entrepreneurship. Includes how they got started, resources they used to get off the ground, what they had known beforehand, and how they pivoted during the Pandemic. Free, registration required. Presented by Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
When the going gets tough, the entrepreneurs get going.
A corollary: The entrepreneurial spirit isn’t limited to entrepreneurs. (Per Merriam-Webster: “A person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater-than-normal financial risks in order to do so.”)
So it was telling to watch the Cooperstown Chamber’s first “Coffee With Coop” panel discussion via Zoom last Friday, March 19. Kudos to the Chamber, and Executive Director Tara Burke, who was also an adept emcee.
It was a little disheartening to hear a recitation of all the Hall of Fame cancellations, although the scope of its undertakings – an estimated 80,000 fans were expected at Derek Jeter’s Induction – make them particularly fraught, not to mention dangerous, in Time of COVID.
And yet, the entrepreneurial spirit lived in presentations by, first, Fenimore President/CEO Paul D’Ambrosio and then, in Glimmerglass Opera General & Artistic Director Francesca Zambello.
SEMINAR – 8:30 – 11 a.m. Learn about the progress in bringing Broadband internet to Otsego County from Otsego Electric Cooperative CEO Tim Johnson. Free, registration required. Presented by The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
INTERNATIONAL NIGHT – 5 – 8 p.m. Enjoy 3-course meal from abroad. This week enjoy dinner from Brazil. Cost, $20/person. Reservation required. Take-out available. The Otesaga, Cooperstown. 607-544-2524 or visit www.otesaga.com/dining/seasonal-dining
With herd immunity headed our way – by mid-summer or earlier – it IS time to look toward what’s next.
So interim Otsego Chamber President Al Rubin’s letter to members, which arrived Monday in e-mail boxes, is ideally timed.
The letter was an appeal to members to volunteer for chamber committees: Marketing/Education, Membership Services/Events and Finance/Audit.
“We want your input, we want your voice,” wrote Rubin, “and we encourage your engagement to step in and involve yourselves in any way you might be able to utilize your skill sets and connections within our community.”
For sure. Intrigued chamber members should jump in.
Likewise, all other organizations and businesses should be preparing for the rebound, be it this spring, mid-summer or sometime this fall.
PRESIDENTIAL INAUGURATION – 46th President Joe Biden to be inaugurated in Washington DC.
VIRTUAL TOUR – 2 p.m. Zoom meeting featuring walk through of exhibit ‘Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies’ with manager of arts education Kevin Gray. Free, registration required. Suggested donation $5. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit www.fenimoreartmuseum.org