In April 2020, COVID-19 brought much of Arizona’s economy to a screeching halt. All businesses not deemed “essential” were ordered closed by Arizona’s governor Doug Ducey.
The lockdown continued for nearly two months. When Gov. Ducey finally gave the go ahead to reopen, businesses slowly began the road to recovery. Even those listed as “essential” had a challenge with this economic recovery.
Many small businesses and non-profits in Arizona didn’t survive the lockdown. The businesses that did survive are hanging on as best they can. Copper Area News wanted to give something back to the local business community as a thank you for supporting us through these troubled times. Our newspapers (Copper Basin News, Superior Sun and San Manuel Miner) have been featuring local businesses and non-profits since the beginning of 2021, encouraging our readers to Shop at Home, stay local and support our local businesses. To date, Copper Area News has featured 87 businesses in the Copper Corridor.
As the COVID-19 Pandemic took its toll, businesses, families and even local non-profits had to adjust their strategies to keep their missions moving forward while working through the pandemic. Meetings were moved to Zoom and fundraisers had to become creative as in-person events were not allowed.
The 2019 Pioneer Days was the last event to take place in the Copper Corridor prior to the declaration of global pandemic and the grinding halt all activity took in the State of Arizona. There was no question a year later of hosting a 2020 event.
With vaccinations, though, things are starting to settle back to – if not normal – then something approaching it.
The Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce represents communities in Pinal and Gila counties to include Kearny, Hayden, Winkelman and all its neighboring communities. The goal of the Copper Basin Chamber of Commerce is to promote and advance the general welfare and prosperity of the Copper Basin Area so that its citizens and all areas of its business community shall prosper. Particular attention and emphasis is given to the economic, civic, commercial, cultural, industrial tourism and educational interest of the area businesses and communities. The Chamber also provides opportunities for people to give back, get involved and come together to help create a sense of pride for our communities and continue to help build partnerships between our business, residents and visitors.
Over the years the Chamber has helped with events and hosted events including Pioneer Days, The Women’s Expo, Hayden Fiestas, Kearny Car Show and Fall Festival, The Great Pumpkin and Winter Festival. The events are held in hopes that it will bring family fun to our community but also help our businesses.
“We want to see people from out of town come to our area and enjoy all the great things Kearny has to offer,” said Chamber President Ginger Bentley.
Last year was not only a challenging year for the state but also for the Chamber. Events and meetings were cancelled or held virtually to help slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.
“These were not decisions that were made lightly and we really wanted to keep the best interest of our communities and our residents healthy in our decisions,” Bentley explained, adding, “currently we are excited and looking forward to a safe return for some of our events.”
The Great Pumpkin is scheduled for Oct. 30; the Kearny Car Show is scheduled for Nov. 13; and the Winter Festival and Parade is scheduled for Dec. 4.
“Our events are possible with the help of our Junior Chamber students who volunteer their time and help earn community service hours,” Bentley said. “Those that participate in the Junior Chamber program are given a scholarship awarded by the Chamber to help them further their education after high school. Of course no event would be possible without the support of our local businesses and volunteers. We can’t thank them enough, we are here for them after all.”
Would you like to get involved in some of these events or maybe even take a leadership role?
“With all the great events ahead of us this year the Chamber is also looking to hire a Director to help with office tasks, promote businesses and members, help at events and maintain the Chamber website and social media accounts,” Bentley said.
The position pays $12.50 per hour and is part time. If anyone is interested in applying or would like more information about the position, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call President Ginger Bentley at 520-265-2042.
“Anyone can live in a neighborhood but not everyone gets to be part of a true community!” Bentley added.
Copper Basin Chamber Board members are: President Ginger Bentley, Becky Dunn, Vanessa Camacho, Jean Slater, Irma Newman, Vicki Palmer, Jamie Ramsey and Nancy Hinojos.