ST. CLOUD -- As businesses and restaurants adjust to a new sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce is continuing to be a shoulder to lean on.

President Teresa Bohnen says they are working with other local organizations, such as the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation and the Downtown Council, to help area businesses withstand these uncertain times.

We've been having daily conference calls with the Department of Employment and Economic Development, also staying in tune with local organizations that are trying to assist and help.

Bohnen says there is strong concerns over what could happen if a shut down is ordered. She says their office is gathering information on what is concerned an essential service.

We are helping to collect information about essential services and those organizations who would like to be considers as essential services. That information needs to be shared with the Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation and we have that information on our website.

Bohnen says their phone lines remain open to any businesses who have questions or concerns.

Governor Tim Walz issued an executive order Monday which created an emergency loan program to help small business owners. The loan program is intended to help small businesses whose owners may not have adequate cash flow to withstand the closure.

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