Chambers of commerce look to help Tomball, Magnolia businesses amid coronavirus concerns

A policy of social distancing could end up hurting local businesses, chamber presidents said. (Dylan Sherman/Community Impact)
A policy of social distancing could end up hurting local businesses, chamber presidents said. (Dylan Sherman/Community Impact)

A policy of social distancing could end up hurting local businesses, chamber presidents said. (Dylan Sherman/Community Impact)

The chambers of commerce in both Tomball and Magnolia are working to ensure local businesses have help as people practice social distancing due to the coronavirus outbreak, chamber presidents said.

However, Sandy Barton, president of the Greater Magnolia Parkway Chamber of Commerce, said she believes there has not been a significant decrease yet in sales and patronizing of Magnolia businesses.

“The only concern we’ve experienced [is regarding] employees having to have children out of school for an extended period of time,” Barton said.

Barton said local eateries have noticed slightly less people recently, but the situation is not yet dire.

Bruce Hillegeist, president of the Greater Tomball Area Chamber of Commerce, said the Tomball chamber is canceling any event that does not follow the most updated Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.



“It might be aggressive,” Hillegeist said. “But we want to be safe [rather] than sorry.”

Hillegeist said the uncertainty of the virus' potential spread has the chamber concerned, and actions are taken on the side of safety.

“We are concerned about what it can do to retail and restaurants,” he said.

Barton said the chamber is still encouraging people to support businesses, within reason and following the CDC's guidelines.

“Decisions are changing daily, sometimes even by the hour,” she said.

Barton said the chamber is working with elected officials to make sure the local businesses can get the help they might need if the situation was to get worse, and Hillegeist said the Tomball chamber is working with local officials to come up with solutions to help local businesses during this time.

“We are going to think outside the box [for solutions],” he said.