Chamber Board Meets with State Leaders



May 26, 2020 DULUTH, MN – The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce welcomed Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and U.S. Senator Tina Smith today as they each provided timely updates to the chamber’s Board of Directors via Zoom.

The chamber continues to serve as a connecting point to our business community for local, state, and national elected officials. Today’s virtual conversation with Gov. Walz and Sen. Smith were productive discussions surrounding reopening Minnesota, supplying additional federal aid to our region, and ensuring concerns facing our region remained in conversation.

Senator Smith discussed the urgency to provide aid to Minnesota through additional funding support for individuals, direct support for small businesses, assistance to health care facilities, and aid to state and local governments. Sen. Smith identified a need to create a national strategy for contact tracing, diagnosing, and testing to accommodate better contingency planning for businesses.

Governor Walz updated Board Members on Minnesota’s reopening. Walz stated he was “cautiously optimistic” about the phased reopening.  The state is focused on a safe reopen for businesses and keeping them open, citing concern that a sudden reopen could skyrocket infection rates and overwhelm hospitals. The goal, Walz explained, is to slow and control the infection rate and reopen our economy.

Chamber President David Ross ensured with Governor Walz that regional issues present before the pandemic continue to be a topic of discussion at the capitol, including infrastructure, state bonding, and affordable housing.

As Senator Smith states, “We cannot have economic health without public health.”

The Duluth Area Chamber of Commerce serves as the premier advocate for commerce and industry. Through facilitating interaction among business, government, education, labor, and the greater community, the Chamber actively creates innovative opportunities for business to advance within local and global economies. The Chamber encourages fairness in the political process by serving to help educate our members rather than endorsing or supporting political parties or affiliations.