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Chamber returns to in-person meetings in January posted on 12/01/2021

The past 21 months for the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce have been anything but “business as usual.” After the coronavirus pandemic hit, the chamber halted in-person meetings, held board meetings via zoom and took efforts to help its members, including not collecting dues for a year.

Next month, the chamber will restart its monthly in-person meetings, held on the first Tuesday of each month, and will welcome Jason Brandt, President and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA).

“The 21-month long span of the pandemic to date has caused widespread disruptions in Oregon’s hospitality industry,” Brandt wrote in an email to The Mountain Times. “Our discussion at the Chamber will include a review of the challenges faced by the industry to date, relief programs that have assisted many with business survival, and the many challenges that persist as operators work to bring back a sense of normalcy for their employees and customers.”

Brandt added that while some businesses have started to be profitable again, some had to go into debt to cover unavoidable losses.

“Our hope at ORLA for the business world would be that 2022 is full of consistency for business operations without unexpected and overly volatile government regulations,” Brandt noted. “2019 was the last year any business was able to rely on operating hours based on their own decision making."

“Our hope for 2022 is that it is filled with opportunities to bring joy and fulfillment to our guests as we work to transition from a pandemic to the management of an endemic throughout our state and country,” he added.

The chamber will play its part in helping out Mountain businesses this year by reducing membership dues, made possible by years of volunteer efforts, including the proceeds from The Bite of Mt. Hood.

The chamber’s first in-person meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022, at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, 68010 E. Fairway Avenue in Welches. Refreshments will be served and COVID protocols will be followed. For more information, call 503-622-3017.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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