Let’s Talk Business: November 12, 2021

Lyon County had 831 total employer establishments in 2019, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Of those, the majority were—and still are—small businesses. Those small businesses robustly contribute to the health of our local economy and are at the forefront of nimble adaptation to the unprecedented events of the past couple of years. We can all do our part to help keep them in business by remembering to shop local and shop early this holiday season.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce recently published the results of a small business survey, which was conducted the first week of October 2021 with MetLife. Some of the takeaways include:

  • Small business retailers show the strongest levels of support for vaccine requirements for employees (70%), and proof of vaccination for customers (68%).
  • 10% of small businesses say they already require customers to show vaccine cards, up from just 3% that said they were doing this in June.
  • For employees unwilling to comply with vaccine or testing requirements, 43% of small businesses report they are likely to replace them, but few (10%) say they have already done so.
  • Small business decision makers are concerned about the health (65%) and future (64%) of their businesses, while half (52%) say they are concerned about their staffing.

Here at the Chamber we are helping address the hiring crunch with a continuously-updated list of members who have open positions available. Are you a job-seeker? Check the many open positions by visiting our website at https://emporiakschamber.org/chamber-members-are-hiring/.

On November 4, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) that requires businesses with at least 100 employees to ensure vaccination of their workers, or for those workers who are unvaccinated, masking policies and weekly testing. The survey results indicate the majority of small businesses nationwide are in agreement with the Biden mandates. More information on the recent vaccination mandates is available here: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2.

Please join us in welcoming our newest Chamber member Gravel City Roasters. Emporia’s locally roasted coffee purveyor and popular gathering place recently moved into new downtown digs at 715 Commercial Street. Find them on Facebook or give them a call at 620-343-3919.

Join us for a ribbon cutting right here at the Trusler Business Center, 719 Commercial Street, on Tuesday, November 16, at 11:30 a.m., celebrating Emporia Carpet Cleaning. Meet the faces behind this residential and commercial carpet, upholstery, grout, and tile cleaning business. Everyone is always welcome to attend Chamber ribbon cuttings.

All of us here at the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau are proud of our area students who contributed to the 2021 All Veterans Tribute Student Essay Contest sponsored by Visit Emporia. This year’s theme was “My Duty on Veterans Day”. Find the list of winning essayists on our website at https://emporiakschamber.org/student-essay-contest-winners-announced/.

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.