President’s Blog

President’s Blog2019-08-14T15:54:50-07:00
Oct 062020

Member Outreach

Our foggy mornings continue to remind me that Fall is here. It is my favorite time of year. The leaves are changing on the trees outside the chamber office, there’s a little nip in the air. Where did the summer go? I’ve heard said that time speeds up as you age. I think I understand that phenomenon.

Over the past months of this surreal and challenging pandemic year, our sole focus has been to ensure you, our business community, has the information and resources you need. I don’t have to tell you it isn’t over yet. Please know that we will be with you through this and into whatever happens next and beyond. This Chamber has stood for this community for over 100 years, and we will do all we can to ensure it continues to stand, for you. If there is anything that you need at this time, please call 503-472-6196 or email me at

In keeping with our commitment to provide you information that may impact you and your business, we have the following to share:

  • Please complete our short, 7 question survey It will help inform us on business trends and how we can serve you better. If you have not taken the survey, please click on this link: Thank you!
  • Currently there are 10 wildfires in Oregon with close to 1M acres burned. Some are near 100% contained. This site has a current fire and hot spot map:
  • Governor Brown has extended the moratorium on evictions until December 31, 2020. The latest moratorium does not include commercial leases, only residential.
  • Cybercriminals are targeting work at home employees. At our Cybersecurity Business Support Series webinar, our presenters mentioned the potential risk to WFH employees and what you can do to mitigate your company’s exposure. You can watch the recorded webinar here: And, the US Chamber of Commerce released a bulletin on how to assess your cyber risk here:
  • As part of our Business Support Series, we have invited City Planner Heather Richards to present to us information about the City’s effort to expand McMinnville’s Urban Growth Boundary. You can register here. It’s free with your membership.

Wishing you all the best!

Gioia Goodrum, President and CEO

Sep 162020

Paid leave for Covid diagnosed employees, information for displaced Oregonians and more

Please see an update on items that may impact you and your business. Updates include: paid leave for covid diagnosed employees; voting information for displaced Oregonians; masks for ag workers; emergency business grant for business; childcare survey; wildfire state response; covid vs smoke inhalation

  • Salem, OR—A new program starts this week to help people who work in Oregon and need to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19 exposure, but do not have access to COVID-19-related paid sick leave, the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS) announced today. The COVID-19 Temporary Paid Leave Program was created with $30 million received from the federal government to help Oregon respond to the coronavirus pandemic. People who qualify will receive a $120 per-day payment for up to 10 working days ($1,200 total) for the time they are required quarantine. Employees can apply online starting Wednesday, Sept. 16, at The application form is available in English, Spanish, and Russian. Those who do not have access to electronic applications can call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130. Those who need help in a language other than these three can call 503-947-0131 for help. DCBS and the Department of Revenue are collaborating on the new program to ensure employees meet the necessary eligibility requirements.

To be eligible for the program, one must meet all of the following requirements:
• Work in Oregon and required to file an Oregon personal income tax return. • Directed to quarantine by a local or tribal public health authority or health care provider because of exposure to someone infected, or isolating because you have COVID-19-related symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis. • Not able to work (including telework) because you need to quarantine or isolate. • Do not expect to earn more than $60,000 individually or $120,000 jointly in 2020. • Your employer does not provide COVID-19-related paid sick leave or you have exhausted your available COVID-19-related paid sick leave. • Are not applying for or receiving unemployment insurance benefits for the time off due to quarantine or isolation. • Are not applying for or receiving workers’ compensation claim benefits due to quarantine or isolation. • Are not seeking or using benefits from similar COVID-19 quarantine relief programs in Oregon or another state. • Are not applying for or receiving other forms of paid leave from your employer during your quarantine or isolation, such as banked sick leave or vacation leave. • Are not laid off or furloughed by your employer. • Must have notified your employer that you need to quarantine or isolate.

Because the available funds are limited, the program is available only to quarantine periods that were in place on or after Sept. 16. Applicants can claim only one quarantine period. For more information or to apply, go to or call 833-685-0850 (toll-free) or 503-947-0130 between 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The website also contains an eligibility quiz to help people who are not sure if they qualify. Fliers are attached in English and Spanish.

  • SALEM, OR — Secretary of State Bev Clarno issued the following statement in response to the wildfires and to ensure all displaced Oregonians are able to receive their ballot and vote this November.“The families and communities affected by the devastating wildfires across Oregon are in my thoughts and prayers. Our team at Secretary of State stands ready to help both in the immediate response and long-term recovery efforts to come. For any Oregonians displaced from their home and concerned about voting in the General Election this November, rest assured we have a plan and are working closely with local election officials to ensure you can receive your ballot, vote, and make your voices heard.” For frequently asked questions, visit
  • Employers of ag workers needing masks. Per the Oregon Health Authority, KN95 masks are being sent to  community based organizations and OSU extension offices. Per OHA: They are adequate protection for the particulate level we have in the Oregon according to OSHA and FDA.” You can contact the Yamhill County Extension Office’s Kelli Watcherson at or Unidos’ Miriam Vargas-Corona at to obtain masks for your workers.
  • Due to weather conditions, the City of McMinnville is extending the application deadline for the Emergency Business Assistance grant from this Friday, September 18, to Friday, September 25, 2020.  Applications can be accessed online at, or at the Library and Community Development Center, and can be submitted online at or in person at the Community Development Center, 231 NE Fifth Street.
  • For more information on the wildfires and the state response, please go to this website:
  • NEW GRANT! The latest regional recovery grant for small businesses has just opened through Willamette Workforce Partnership.  This program is funded at $670,000 and is available for Yamhill, Polk and Marion County companies only.  This funding looks very different from other rounds.  One major difference is that previous support through Cares Act funds (EIDL & PPP) and previous grant awards do not negate your eligibility.  I hope you will take the time to work through this VERY SHORT application to see if you are eligible.  It is worth your time!  The program info and link to the application can be found here:
  • CHILDCARE  SURVEY– WE NEED YOUR HELP! the County is seeking funding from the State and Federal governments to support programming that will increase the availability to localized, safe, legal childcare (of all ages) in Yamhill County, In order to validate the ask, they have developed a needs survey in partnership with the Early Learning Hub. They are asking businesses and community members to please complete this survey to aide them in accessing those funds.  It is a 5 minute survey and is very valuable to this process.  Please help.  The survey can be found here:
  • There are two instructional posters attached (in English and Spanish) on how to properly wear a N95 mask and how to high speed wash hands. (see below)
  • There is a fund for folks in the Santiam Canyon set up through the Santiam Service Integration Team, to meet the immediate and long term needs of folks in the Santiam Canyon. You can find it on their Facebook page:
  • Senator Merkley has set up a wildfire resources page:
  • Oregon Community Foundation has set up a fund to assist those impacted by the fires. You can read more about it here and make a donation: or
  • You can also make donations to the American Red Cross:
  • Governor Kate Brown declares abnormal market disruption due to wildfire state of emergency: Governor Kate Brown issued Executive Order 20-42, declaring an abnormal market disruption as a result of the statewide wildfire emergency. Read the news release.
  • Travel Oregon has created a new wildfire information hub for a variety of current wildfire and smoke related information. The site focuses on preparedness, travel and evacuation resources.
  • Attached is a flyer from OHA (currently only available in English) that helps explain the differences in symptoms one might experience from COVID and smoke inhalation. This page also has other helpful information about resources and support for anyone affected by the wildfires.

OHA Know the Difference Flyer

High Speed Hand-Washing Bilingual_Color



Special thanks to our County Commissioners and the Yamhill Emergency Management Team for all of their hard work to help our neighboring counties and evacuees. Thank you to the firefighters, the National Guard (and their families) and our local FD and PD. Thank you to the businesses that offered to host evacuees and the restaurants that have donated meals and food. Thank you to our entire community who have come together to support and help each other. We live in a wonderful place, full of amazing, giving people. We are getting through this together.



Sep 142020

Wildfire update from Governor’s press conference today; donations for displaced Oregonians

I know how busy you are and I hope you are staying safe during these difficult times. I sat in on the Governor’s press conference today and have summarized points that were made by the speakers. You can find the press conference on most of the local news stations’ websites.

Governor Brown held a news conference today. The state will begin distributing 250,000 N95 masks for agricultural workers and impacted tribes. She expects additional fire fighters to be arriving from across the Country. FEMA representatives are on the ground in Oregon. She has asked President Trump to declare Oregon a Major Disaster Area. The immediate need is great. The governor mentioned that there are three large charitable foundations that she has asked to create a fund to help plan for what is to come next: Ford Family Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust and the Oregon Community Foundation. Called the 2020 Rebuilding Fund, it will help Oregon invest in long term recovery. Other organizations are welcome to donate to these funds. Additionally, the Oregon Food Bank, Red Cross or your local relief agencies are places to donate funds to assist those in need.

On the news conference today, Chief Doug Grafe with the Oregon Forestry Department discussed the favorable weather conditions that have helped firefighters through this week with some challenges due to winds. The east wind weather pattern changed and great progress has been made in fighting the fires. The next five days with cooler temps and higher humidity are favorable. High winds and potentials for lightning storms could be challenging. We may seen rain on Thursday. He said about the Chehalem Mountain Fire that he was pleased with the progress of holding lines and that there was still work to be done. There are now over 5,600 fire fighters in Oregon and we can anticipate more resources coming in. Firefighting will be augmented with aerial firefighting when the air clears. Doug asked that people keep drones on the ground because the air tankers and helicopters must be grounded if there are other airborne vehicles in the area.

Chief Mariana Ruiz-Temple, Oregon Fire Marshall, spoke about the Oregon Fire Service working across the state on the fires. The priority for structural fire service and unified command is continued with mop up and work around structures. They are keeping eyes on the weather. They are looking at recovery, where assets are placed and need. They are seeking replacement crews to give current firefighters relief. They will continue to support the Office of Emergency Management.

General Michael Stencel, with the National Guard has 700 soldiers and airmen mobilized and expect over 1,000 soldiers to be deployed by mid-week. There are 143 service members managing 26 traffic points in several counties and are seeking 150 additional guardsmen for other areas. They have deployed Blackhawk and Lakota copters with buckets for firefighting, medivac and mission control. They will fly once the air is clear. They have several teams that are helping with firefighting and other support functions such as search and recovery teams. He thanked the families and the employers of the Guardsmen for their support and for standing behind them.

Director Andrew Foltz from the Office of Emergency Management said that Oregon asked for help and it is coming from across the Country. He said it was important to provide accurate information and shared the following: local law enforcement is working safely and quickly on verifying and identifying the deceased and notifying their families, and reuniting missing persons with their families is also critical; there are many organizations involved such as State Police and Office of Emergency Management. There have been 10 deaths as of today, and 22 missing individuals. If you are concerned about a missing person/family, contact and report they are missing to the local law enforcement in the area they live or were visiting, when the fires occurred. If you have been displaced/evacuated (or know of someone) contact and register with the Red Cross Safe and Well Network (English and Spanish . This will help law enforcement identify those who are not accounted for. All emergencies are public information and the public should look to their local organizations for accurate information.

OBI and the Oregon State Chamber are working together to raise funds to support Oregonians displaced by the wildfire tragedy. They will work with local chambers in the impacted areas to determine where funds can be used to have the greatest community impact. OBI will cover all of the overhead costs so that every dollar donated will go to communities in need. Click here to make your donation:

Know someone that needs a place to stay: Dial 211 for help with locating shelters for homeless and displaced. The Oregon Conference Center is open for homeless people to get indoors to escape the smoke.

You can view the map of the fires here: And view the Governor’s press conference here: Today’s fire press briefing has not been posted on the site. You can check the site to see earlier briefings:

Stay safe,


Dec 312019

“The Garden Spot of the Willamette Valley”

“The Garden Spot of the Willamette Valley” a look at McMinnville 90 years ago

While going through some old files in the Chamber office, I found a report from the early 1930’s, containing some interesting statistics and information about McMinnville and Yamhill County.

Here are some highlights of the report:

  • Population of McMinnville: 3,859
  • Number of dwellings: 1,149
  • Families with telephones: 709
  • Electrical connections: 1,056 (‘off the grid’ isn’t a new concept)
  • Bank deposits: $2,849,310
  • Parks: one 22-acre park, a municipal swimming pool and a children’s playground

Local shopping days are Wednesdays and Saturdays, with most sales happening at the first of the month and peak retail season is in the fall, after harvest.

The Chamber had 212 members and met every Monday. Kiwanis had a membership of 35 and met on Wednesdays, and Rotary with a membership of 44 met every Friday. The Legion had 290 members, Odd Fellows 275 and the Elks 1000 members. There were 9 churches of various denominations. Two theatres with a total capacity of 900 and the armory had a capacity of 2,500.

Principle industries: food and kindred products, 20; forest products, 17; paper, printing and related industries, 4; stone, clay and glass, 1; machinery (not transportation), 1.

The Southern Pacific Railway line from Portland to Eugene and three lines of the Oregon Stages, Inc. with a total of 52 stages daily, served the area.

The Wholesale and Retail portion of the report mentioned there were 136 retail stores in McMinnville including:

  • Auto and truck dealers: 10
  • Independent Cigar Stores: 3
  • Department stores: 6
  • Gas and filling stations: 23
  • General stores: 6
  • Meat markets (exclusively): 3
  • Millinery: 3
  • Restaurants: 7
  • Independent shoe stores: 1

Agriculture statistics included wheat yields ranging from 55-72 bushels per acre in 1929. World recognized poultry, cherries, prunes and pears were common crops grown in the area. Potatoes had yields of 150 to 350 bushels per acre. Yamhill County led in the production of the Oregon Walnut, with a market of .22-35 cents per pound. Some of the ten-year-old trees were known to produce over 100 pounds of nuts per season. Filberts (aka Hazelnuts), a larger and sweeter version than those imported from Italy, were in great demand.

The report notes the community has “cheap” electrical power (thank you MWL). Water was supplied from a 112,000,000-gallon reservoir, stating that the water supply “is 100 per cent pure, containing no chemical purifier and noted for its quality”. Natural gas was not available in McMinnville at the time.

McMinnville had 1,166 families and 1,308 passenger automobiles, or roughly more than one car per family.

Land was reasonably priced at $25-50 per acre for hill and foothill land. High grade valley land was $75-150 per acre.

The report ended the with the following words of advise “If you would live where there are no cyclones, tornadoes and blustering winds, where lightning and thunderstorms are unknown; where ocean beaches and forest beauty is a short drive away; where wintery blasts are never felt; where vegetation is green the year around and where living is worth while, then come to the heart of the Willamette valley and to McMinnville.”

The information in this blog post came from a report printed by the Telephone Register Publishing Company, McMinnville (now the News-Register) and researched by Earl Bunting and Associates Marketing Counsellors, from Portland Oregon for the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce, early 1930’s. Information collected, was as printed.
Aug 142019

The Chamber Is…

What does a chamber do?

I get asked this a lot. The short answer is, we do a lot of different things and they can be boiled down to three themes:

  • The Chamber is a convener of community leaders from all walks of life, businesses and experiences.
  • The Chamber is a catalyst for good in our community.
  • The Chamber is a champion through advocacy, business promotion and involvement in shaping the future of our community.

As a convener, we gather influential leaders to solve issues within our community. We provide members opportunities to meet, conduct business and support our local economy. We encourage businesses to support each other to develop a strong local economy and we create networks and help build relationships.

As a catalyst we are uniquely positioned to influence change for good in our community. Our programs are geared to grow leaders within our community and develop, encourage and support entrepreneurs.

We champion our community by building bridges between our members, each other and the community. We act as intermediaries between the community, business and government and are part of the ‘inner circle’ of McMinnville. Our community resources knowledge base is expansive-we are the place to get information. The Chamber Board is made up of business professionals representing a wide array of industry and commerce. We advocate for business-friendly legislation at local, county, state and federal levels. We educate and provide awareness of public policy issues impacting business.

The chamber is the largest business association in McMinnville, supporting, promoting and encouraging a strong local economy through a variety of programs, resources and activities.

Mar 282019

Keys to a Small Business Owner’s Peace of Mind

If you are a small business owner, you likely know that there are areas of focus that are important to your success. Our local SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) representative Bill Taylor has given us his “Keys to a small business owner’s peace of mind”.

*CASH FLOW – positive cash flow and its importance to your future success. The Cash Flow Statement shows you the movement of money in and out of your business; the inflows and outflows that determine the solvency of your business. A positive cash flow is good, a negative cash flow is, well, not so good.

*ATTRACTING NEW CUSTOMERS – Generating leads to gain new customers is difficult. Where do I advertise? How much time should I spend on social media and which is most effective? Identify your ideal customer/client; know where your ideal customer/client lives; be the answer to your customers pain points; and build partnerships by networking in the community where your customer lives.

*CUSTOMER LOYALTY – In today’s hyper connected world, word spreads fast and far. Online reviews can be good or bad for business. Managing it all while running a business can be tough. How are you developing and managing your customers by developing a consistently positive emotional experience when they purchase from you? THE CUSTOMER IS KING!

*MAKING PAYROLL AND MANAGING EMPLOYEES – Even if you have one employee, being in compliance with state and federal laws is necessary and can be time consuming. There are resources to help with HR issues, compliance and questions you may have. Ask your SCORE mentor, your chamber of commerce or association for help.

*YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE – Your company website: is it doing the job for you? Do you have goals for your site in terms of generating business? How are your social media accounts linked to your website? Online lead generation can help a business.

*NETWORKING – Join the McMinnville Chamber of Commerce, Young Professionals of Yamhill County or other networking organizations to help grow your business through local connections. Take the time and effort to meet and get to know new people at each meeting.

*RESOURCES – Take advantage of:

  • McMinnville Chamber of Commerce
  • SCORE Volunteers
  • SBA (Small Business Association)
  • Oregon Secretary of State Website

*KNOW YOUR COMPETITION – Work to stay one step ahead. What are they doing?

*TOUCH BASE with similar businesses in other markets/states. Find out what is working for them. See if there is a business association for your industry and learn what your colleagues are doing.

*HIRE A GOOD ACCOUNTANT/CPA – One you feel comfortable talking to. Get a referral from a friend or business colleague that you trust.

*CONTACT A SCORE MENTOR for FREE business advice. SCORE mentors have seen it all and can be a great resource for you and your business. They are knowledgeable and understand the challenges of being in a small business. You can reach the local SCORE office at (503)370-2896 or (503)857-0292 to make an appointment with an advisor.


Gioia Goodrum, President & CEO • McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce

   Gioia Goodrum, President/CEO

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