Dear Chamber Supporters:
 
First thing on my phone at 4:30 this morning – President Trump and wife Melania have tested positive for COVID -19…WOW! This is big…no telling where we go from here. Another peculiar twist in a completely bizarre election cycle. The debate last Tuesday evening was more argument than debate…it seems our political integrity has denigrated to new lows. Candidates never endear themselves to one another…but on some level usually continue to respect the other. Not so this year…respect seems pretty much non-existent between our presidential candidates. When each faced the other with the charge of impressing us…the American people, as to why they are the best choice to lead our country – they chose to use schoolyard etiquette.
 
I’m asked often how I see this election finishing…not only by friends and associates but from my adult children. All young adults are facing their first national crisis either in their grown life and/or and as parents…and it is a scary time – for them and the lives they dream for their children. I’ll give my election predictions at the end of my note today.
 
COVID Update:
 
The COVID news is less positive on the local front too…coronavirus cases are up 104 individuals since last Wednesday with 62 current active cases (here is the complete report). This can be attributed to many things including school starting…but also includes the fact we are growing weary of this invisible attacker we can’t see or swing at. We are left only with prevention and safety protocols…a defensive stance. We can’t go on the attack until a vaccine is available…and we can’t win until we are on offense. After 7-months we are still left with protecting ourselves and not getting rid of the virus. We will need to remain vigilant until an inoculation is available!
 
Hope House:
 
What a great organization…now even more at the forefront of our community with needs growing from the extended pandemic. Hope House is a non-denominational Christian organization which strives to provide a place to share God’s plan of salvation and spiritual assistance by meeting the physical needs of our community. Mary Lois Yates and her volunteers welcomed Chamber members this morning (pictures here)…there is little question they are doing the work of Jesus in Ottawa. This morning we celebrated the 30th anniversary of Hope House…started by a vision of a few local ministers, it has grown into a large and necessary service agency. Mary Lois described how they manage the local food pantry and clothes closet…they always are in need of more donations (click here for the list of most urgent needs). They also cooperate with all other service agencies in town…if they receive a donation which they can’t use they get it to the local agency which can. Thanks to all the volunteers at Hope House…God bless you!!
 
Ladies Day Downtown:
 
Take a break and join us downtown this afternoon…all welcome (even though we say Ladies Day…men are welcome too). It’s a beautiful autumn day – just the right amount of coolness. Be sure to stop by the Chamber to pick up free Chamber Currency (while supplies last) – good only today at participating businesses. Here is the map of the 20 businesses accepting the “bright pink” dollars. We have 2 sponsors for this event…Price Chopper and Rock Creek Ottawa are responsible for the free currency. I’ll have pictures and a full report next week…it should be a fun time and just the recess we need for a Friday afternoon!
 
2020 Candidate Forum:
 
Mark your calendar for October 20 to meet and hear from local candidates running for election. The Chamber will hold a candidate forum outdoors at Legacy Square from 6:00-8:00…you will have the opportunity to ask questions which are important to you or your business. Bring your lawn chairs and come armed with questions…who we choose to cast our votes in local, state and national issues is important.
 
One-Year Old Birthday Party:
 
We had a fun-time at Heidi Jo’s first birthday party last weekend…pictures here. It was even more festive following my K-State Wildcats upsetting the number 3 school in the nation – the Oklahoma Sooners!! And if the day couldn’t get any better, our daughter Jessica and son-in-law, Mark announced we are expecting our ninth grandchild…another boy. What a day!! It was a real brightener in a time when good news is really cherished!!
 
2020 Election Predictions:
 
I know it’s early to be making prognostications…we are still a full month from the election. But I’m pretty much ready to guarantee the following “less than definitive” guesses are accurate:
  • It will be a very close election…and each side will accuse the other of cheating…both campaigns are already laying the groundwork for these accusations and there is a better than even chance the outcome will be decided in the courts (hence the rush to appoint a new court justice). 
  • Whoever wins…Trump or Biden – will call it a mandate and claim the other party needs to come back to the center. The media will frame everything from the point of view Biden is supposed to win…it will be either a Biden victory, or a “unbelievable” defeat for Biden. If Trump wins there will be riots and protestors in major metropolitan areas. 
  • If Trump wins…stocks will spike – if Biden wins they will fall. The rise or fall will be only temporary.
  • After about a week, 99.9% of all Americans will realize the sun came up the next day…and their lives didn’t change that much because of this election. 
  • By the fall of 2021 (a year from now), the attention will be turned to the next election (2022) and the absolute importance of electing or voting out members of the current president’s party. 
 
You only have the ability to change your life through your own actions…choose to be happy!!
 
Hope to see you downtown this afternoon…talk to you next week.
 
Onward ~ John
 
John Coen
President/CEO
Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce
785-242-1000