Let’s Talk Business: August 13, 2021

How many times have you heard this one before: the only constant in life is change. Across our community many nimble businesses and organizations are showing their adeptness at change, continuously and gracefully adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of life with covid. The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce is no stranger to change either, as it regretfully announces the cancellation of the 124th Annual Meeting.

“It was a difficult and heartbreaking decision,” said Jeanine McKenna, President/CEO of the Emporia Area Chamber. “We just did not feel we could implement the proper protocols to keep everyone safe.”

But in that ‘can-do’ spirit of change, the date for the Chamber’s 125th Annual Meeting is now scheduled for Friday, January 21, 2022.

Every year, back to school signals a big change for students, parents, and educators. For businesses, the change from summer to school provides a unique opportunity to capitalize on the needs of students as they return to the world of education. Back to school shopping trends, according to InMobi’s June 2021 survey, indicate that parents shopping for their children’s school supplies via mobile device this year will spend more than those shopping in person or via desktop.

The survey indicated that back to school shopping began in earnest in July. Students shopping for themselves, however, will likely wait until the last minute. Overall, 48% of shoppers for college-age students and 54% of shoppers for elementary-age students responded that they will spend more on back to school purchases this year than they did last year. Brick and mortar will reign supreme during the 2021 shopping season, with 77% of respondents saying they will be shopping in person. About one-third (31%) indicated they will do their shopping using a mobile device.

Regardless of how you make back to school purchases this year, please remember to shop locally. It is more important than ever to support our local businesses by choosing to shop Emporia first. Many local businesses make it easy to shop online, offer curbside pickup, and in some cases, have options for delivery. Your choice to shop local makes a world of difference to local merchants and to the continued economic viability of our community.

The U.S. Department of Education recently released the “Return to School Roadmap”, a resource to support students, schools, educators, and communities as schools reopen nationwide. Actionable resources and strategies for the upcoming school year, which will continue to be a year of change, can be found at sites.ed.gov/roadmap/.

The Emporia Area Chamber will host a ribbon cutting for Shull Remodeling & Construction LLC, located at 327 Commercial St., on Wednesday, August 18, 11:30 a.m. The public is always invited to attend Chamber ribbon cutting events.

Face masks are available at no charge for local businesses. Stop by the Chamber office in the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St. during business hours (8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday) to pick up a bundle.

A final word on change from Chamber President/CEO Jeanine McKenna: “Change is inevitable…except from a vending machine.”

It’s a great day in Emporia!



“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.