As part of Gov. Tim Walz's recent statewide mask mandate, McLeod County’s three chambers of commerce in Hutchinson, Glencoe and Winsted will be delivering masks received from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.
The Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism will receive the shipment, and from there the masks will be divided between the Hutchinson, Winsted and Glencoe chambers for distribution to all businesses in the county.
“These masks are part of a large effort by the state to provide four million masks at no cost to the public. They are meant for businesses to hand to their customers who may not have a mask, or have forgotten a mask,” said Mary Hodson, Hutchinson Chamber president. “This is meant as a goodwill gesture on the state’s part, and not a lasting solution to businesses’ need for masks in the coming months.
“We’ve been told this is a one-time shipment. Businesses and individuals should be purchasing masks for the future. Everyone should become prepared with masks, as the burden of providing masks to customers is a financial drain on all businesses,” she added.
Businesses may request masks from a designated chamber, depending where the business is located. Each chamber is responsible for the following areas:
- Hutchinson Chamber: Cities Hutchinson, Stewart and Brownton. Townships of Acoma, Hutchinson, Lynn, Hassan Valley, Collins, Sumter, Round Grove and Penn
- Glencoe Chamber: Cities of Glencoe, Silver Lake, Biscay and Plato. Townships of Glencoe, Helen, Rich Valley and Hale
- Winsted Chamber: Cities of Winsted and Lester Prairie. Townships of Winsted and Bergen
A business is not required to be a chamber member to receive masks. It should be noted, each chamber may have a different registration and distribution process, and businesses should check with their designated chamber for more information. Early the week of July 27, each chamber will announce their registration process to obtain masks.
The Hutchinson Chamber will be using an online form via the website ExploreHutchinson.com. Registration will be open for a short duration, to allow staff and volunteers the time to count, pack and label masks for businesses, and get the masks out as quickly as possible. Distribution will happen on one day only, which is yet to be determined.
Businesses are asked to be attentive to chamber social media pages and websites, along with news media outlets, for the most up-to-date information as it becomes available. Chamber members should be watching for email updates. If a Hutchinson Chamber member is not receiving emails, they should check their junk and spam folders before calling the chamber at 320-587-5252.