Chamber Connections: Chamber has the information you need for reopening

“Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities ... because it is the quality which guarantees all others.” Winston Churchill

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo put it well in his April 13 joint press conference with other Northeast governors. He said we should reopen, but reopen “With a plan, with a smart plan, because if you do it wrong it can backfire.”

He went on to say we need to “take one step forward. See how it works. Then you take the next step.” And everyone’s plan may be different because the plans have to “fit the facts and the circumstances.”

Congratulations, Otsego County. We made it to Phase 4 of reopening our economy! Phase 4 includes higher education, low-risk outdoor arts and entertainment and media production.

We are taking one step forward every day, we are developing smart plans. I recognize how hard everyone is working, and it is not easy. I commend all businesses, despite the challenges, for making every good-faith effort to keep on moving forward to keeping people safe.

There have been reopening lessons learned that change sometimes on a daily basis and we have all learned to adapt to these changes. We are all in this together and The Otsego County Chamber is here to support your business. Know we have your back as we work every day to bring your needs forward to our elected officials.

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and Destination Oneonta is working in partnership with the City of Oneonta and Otsego County Emergency Services to help distribute two gallons of hand sanitizer to businesses within the city of Oneonta that have completed the business affirmation required on NY Forward.

We are requesting that city of Oneonta businesses contact me at or 607- 434-3130 or Destination Oneonta’s Katrina Van Zandt at or 607-376-7599. We will keep a combined list of all city of Oneonta businesses and schedule a distribution day to be determined next week.

For businesses outside of the city of Oneonta within Otsego County are encourage to still contact the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services at 607-547-4227 or via email at to arrange a time to pick up between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 pm Monday through Friday.

We thank Gov. Cuomo, New York state, Otsego County government and the city of Oneonta for this much-needed supply and assistance to businesses, and we thank all businesses that are following these guidelines and completing the business affirmations required on NY Forward. We would like to have all of our businesses affirmed to show our strong support of business as a county as we are coming back stronger than ever!

We request every business that is now open to please affirm your business. We support local businesses and are excited that you are open.

This is a friendly reminder that all business owners must read the detailed guidelines for their industry and provide their digital signature affirming that they have read and understand the document. This is critically important as we reopen Otsego County and city of Oneonta businesses to maintain the safety and health of our employees and customers.

Please visit and as the information is marked clearly where to click to self-certify your business. Please contact me directly at or 607-434-3130 as I am happy to support businesses through the process.

Barbara Ann Heegan is president and chief executive officer of the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

Recommended for you