Members of the San Angelo Chamber of Commerce:

While we have seen some volatility in the equity and commodity markets in recent days, we saw some important developments this week. For the month of May, retail sales rose a record 17.7%, more than doubling estimates of 8.4%. The gains in retail sales were wide spread with 188% increase in clothing and clothing accessories, 89.7% for furniture and home furnishings, 50.5% for electronics and appliances, 44.1% for motor vehicles and the particularly hard-hit restaurant industry surged 29.1% after a nearly 40% contraction in April. Additionally, with low long-term interest rates and pent up demand for housing, the mortgage, construction and real estate industries are experiencing record volumes. These results together with the record jobs numbers reported last week give further evidence of a rapid economic recovery as we continue to reopen.

While all this news is encouraging, we have seen an uptick in our local COVID-19 incident rates in Tom Green County. The great progress we have been making in the restoration of our economy to pre-pandemic levels can still be derailed if we allow this trend to continue. We have certainly come too far to let this happen, so let’s all pull together. Social distancing, the wearing of masks, particularly in closed environments and careful adherence to hygiene procedures will keep us on the road to economic recovery.  Let’s all do our part to stop the spread.

The response to the Chamber Champions program has been great and we really appreciate the local business community coming together to support each other. Most gifts have been given anonymously but I want to thank all who have responded. As a newcomer to this community I must say that I’m both humbled and grateful for the generosity that I have seen in my short tenure here. Thank you all.

The Chamber Champions Program asks those businesses who are doing well to help those who are challenged. During these unprecedented times, Chamber membership is essential to local businesses. Some businesses are having a hard time maintaining their membership. Under this program, we ask those who are doing well to help those in need by subsidizing their Chamber membership payments. We still have businesses in need so if you are able and willing to help, please contact me directly and I will make sure that your support is put to good use and is recognized.

Diversity brings strength and at the Chamber we are committed to reaching, embracing, and supporting our community in its entirety. We are pleased to support the launch of the Chamber’s African American Business Coalition with an exciting event that is focused on making our minority-owned businesses more successful. Please join us for a workshop that will address the basics of business on Friday, June 26 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm via Zoom. The workshop will address topics of interest including lessons on the Disadvantaged Enterprise Program. There will be many distinguished presenters including Kelvin Solco, PE, MBA, a recognized expert in the development of minority owned businesses. While the program focuses on minority owned businesses, all are welcome! Please RSVP at sanangelo.org/diversity.

In other news, we are continuing our very popular weekly webinar series and the next installment will be on Friday, June 19 at 11 am. The topic will be A Return to Normalcy: Cybersecurity Ramifications. You can register here to take advantage of this free educational opportunity!

Finally, we ask that you take a moment to like and follow us on Facebook and on other social media platforms if you haven’t already done so. We also ask you to check out our website, www.sanangelo.org, for new information, as we are continually updating our resources page. I have included my email and personal cell phone number below. Please feel free to contact me at any time.

In the meantime, stay safe and keep well…We deeply appreciate you all.

Walt Koenig
President and CEO
San Angelo Chamber of Commerce
walt@Sanangelo.org
Personal Cell: (321) 474-1332