The Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce held a conference call Friday, Oct. 2, to get business input on ways to help the economy and businesses through the winter with COVID-19 guidelines in effect. The chamber had sent a survey to local businesses prior to the meeting. The chamber brought ideas to the city council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 6.
City Manager Bruce St. Denis said if there is something the city can do to help businesses, they want to see if they can do it.
“Unless there’s a huge increase in cases or something like that, I don't see a shutdown in our future,” St. Denis said during the Oct. 2 call. “I think what you will see is support for the businesses to be able to survive.”
Jim Paino, executive director of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce, said another shutdown of businesses would be a huge concern for everyone. The chamber’s events have gone virtual due to the pandemic.
The council’s emergency declaration allowed accommodations to businesses to help them successfully get through the pandemic. This includes allowing outdoor dining and canopies in parking lots.
Paul Nofield, owner of Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge, said in the Oct. 2 call that parking lots are a good tool for outdoor dining but there needs to be a structure in place to protect from the wind and rain.
Paino said some concerns in the survey were about child care and housing, proper cleaning and sanitation.
St. Denis said there was one idea of marketing the city’s safety and public health. This might make a difference in whether someone chooses to visit Cannon Beach or not. .
Paino said so far, indications seem good in terms of continued booking for hotels and short-term rentals. St. Denis said because Clatsop County is on the governor’s Watch List for COVID-19, they may be pushed back to Phase 1. Paino said that was the number one concern of businesses that took the survey.
The council discussed the results of the survey during a work session Tuesday, Oct. 13. The council is considering recommendations of the chamber, residents and staff to see if there are steps the city can take to assist businesses during the winter.