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POLSON – More than 40 business community members took a moment out of their work week to share knowledge and learn about resources as they head into a post-COVID-19 pandemic world. 

Organizers called the event Polson Bounces Back. The City of Polson and Mission West Community Development Partners co-hosted the event last Wednesday afternoon and gathered at the Showboat Theatre.

According to organizers, the event was designed to bring Polson businesses together to network and share resources that will help Polson move forward for a successful 2021.

“This event is fantastic for our community,” said Bobbie Goldberg, owner of Second Nature. 

“It’s absolutely important for us to network and communicate with each other if we want to recover and grow.”

The program focused on two key areas: bouncing back and resources for resiliency. The Pivoting and Bouncing Back session featured Carol Lynn Lapotka, owner of Hand Made Montana; Mary Frances Caselli, owner of Mrs. Wonderful’s Cafe; Bobbie Goldberg, owner of Second Nature; and Brooke Duty, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ Hospitality and Gaming representative. The group showcased locally-driven ideas and solutions utilized during the COVID-19 pandemic to support their businesses.

“Today’s meeting was a great way to connect with other businesses,” said Lapotka. “There is no need to reinvent the wheel when someone else is already doing it and is able to help guide you in the right direction.”

The second section, Resources for Resiliency, focused on the steps needed to build back after the pandemic, along with how to connect with local, state and national resources.

Panelist featured were Erin Schock, Polson Job Service; Brian Miskimins, Polson Chamber of Commerce; John Winegart, Mission West; Taylor Lyon, Mission West; Roxanne Duckworth, Glacier Bank; and Juan Escano, City of Polson.

Other speakers included, Elvis Nuno, Lake County Internet Cooperative; Wendi Arnold, Flathead Cheese; and Keegan Hall, Montana Main Street Program.

“Small businesses are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Hall. “In order to survive, businesses will have to stay laser-focused on resilience and take practical steps to ensure their organization’s continued successful operation.”

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