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Jake’s Takes

President & CEO Update

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Don’t Freak Out Alone, Freak Out with Us!

“Don’t Freak Out Alone, Freak Out with Us!”. That has certainly taken the early lead for “quote of the year” in this young 2021.

local newsIn these times of stress and anxiety, it helps to find moments of levity when and where it’s possible. As I have said before the pandemic and in the past 10 months since – thank goodness for our resource partners. In the middle of what was a detailed summary of the various funding options for businesses in the recently passed federal Relief Bill at the Redding Chamber’s virtual Greeters gathering last week, Trisha Funk, Director of the Women’s Business Center at JEDI, was quoted as saying, “Don’t freak out alone, freak out with us!”. It was an honest comment that captured the emotions of many in our business community at this time. Trisha is doing a fantastic job in meeting the needs of those who have reached out to her organization for assistance at this time.

Michelle Nystrom of O2 Employment Services was my guest on the “Chamber Hour” on KCNR Free Fire Radio earlier this month. Ever the quick-wit, Michelle described the skepticism many are feeling that 2021 will actually be a better year for business in this way, “I think we are still in 2020. This is really December 43rd”. There are continued challenges in HR and business law changes, which we are pleased to present to you for FREE on Zoom on February 2nd in partnership with O2 and the Shasta EDC.

Vaccine Eligibility

The main topic of last week’s Roadmap to Recovery Advisory Committee, of which I am the business community representative, was vaccination planning. People 75 and older are eligible for vaccines now, and people 65 and older will be eligible on Feb. 1. Supply is still limited, but please watch www.ShastaReady.org for information on how to get
vaccinated. It was moving to see the long line of cars at the mass vaccination site at Benton Airpark, when 840 vaccines were distributed over the weekend.

Native American Roots

The Redding City Council unanimously approved the proposed renaming of two public open spaces in honor and recognition that they were home of and are significant to  Native American peoples in our community. Henderson Open Space will now be known as “Nur Pon (Salmon Run) Open Space”, and Riverland Drive Open Space will now be named “Kum Bay Xerel (Shady Oak Village) Open Space”. I applaud the move and tribute to our local Wintu roots and hope that the recent improvements in both locations will encourage greater community awareness and access to these riverfront parcels.

Peaceful Transition of Power

I watched the Joe Biden Presidential Inauguration from my desk at the Chamber and I found myself thinking about the next 4 years. What will our country and our community look like in 2024? We are the Chamber of Commerce so our outlook is always hopeful. I see continued progress in Downtown Redding and on the Park Marina Drive waterfront. I think construction will continue to boom in an effort to recoup the lost residential inventory from the Carr and Zogg Fires and to keep up with the population growth we expect as more people choose to relocate and retire in the Redding area and Shasta County. As far as our nation’s future, I will draw continued inspiration from the poem “The Hill We Climb” recited by 22-year-old poet laureate, Amanda Gorman following President Biden becoming our 46th President:

“And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside. We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another…

…For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”
For the complete poem, please CLICK HERE.
Jake Mangas
President & CEO
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