Grab your mask. And maybe a name tag. The Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism (OACCT) announces a return to their in-person Business After Hours promotion on Tuesday, July 28. The event will be held at Mineral Springs Brewery at 111 North Walnut. The chamber held a few virtual after-hours Zoom get together's during the first couple months of the pandemic.

The chamber's Tuesday Talk e-newsletter last week indicated several safety precautions will be in place.

  • Chamber and Mineral Springs Brewery staff will wear masks. You can too.
  • Distancing signage reminders will be posted.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available.

Tuesday Talk also provided an update on the JumpStart Owatonna program, stating, "Program funds have been awarded to 43 businesses. Monetary grants are on hold pending additional contributions (in-kind still available)." The initiative has raised and awarded $91,300 to local small businesses.

The sixth round of grants awarded the week of July 20 included Bellebrook Boutique, Central Park Framing & Finds, Holland Family Dental, Magic Ten Nails, Pure Elements Salon, Urban Loft and Vegas Nails. The chamber thanks the core committee of JumpStart: Tom Peterson (Climate by Design International), Peng Olson, Paul Smith (Federated Insurance), Seth Madole (Viracon), Ginny Bergerson, Tanya Henson (Hat Chic Clothing Company), Roger Warehime (Owatonna Public Utilities) and Matt Gillard (RE/MAX Venture Real Estate).

In other OACCT news:

  • The chamber's annual golf outing is Thursday, August 6 at the Owatonna Country Club. The theme is Back to the 80's.
  • Sneeze guards are available through Gandy and Viracon for a cost of $75 + tax for Owatonna-area businesses. Call 507-413-0929 for more information.
  • Owatonna Chamber Ambassadors visited new businesses including Irish Eyes Studio, "a family-friendly tattoo and piercing shop" at 320 N Cedar, Welcome Being Again: Health and Wellbeing, Inc, a nurse practitioner at 516 N Cedar, and Honest 1 Auto Care at 1125 South Oak Ave.
  • Owatonna chamber president Brad Meier issued a statement last week on Minnesota's mask mandate that went into effect on Saturday, July 25.