Thurston County is moving through the Safe Start guidelines of slowly and safely reopening businesses and activities. However, keeping track of the Governor’s four phases and knowing what’s allowed in each can be confusing. The Thurston County Chamber is working to make it easier by Tying our Community Back Together with festive ribbon tying ceremonies and signage to celebrate grand reopenings county-wide.

Krystal Barkus, the Chamber’s Director of Member Engagement and Events, explains that their first ribbon tying was held Tuesday, June 9. “We anticipate this campaign to go on until all businesses are successfully open, essentially phase 4,” she said.

They hope to celebrate the reopening of any business or organization in Thurston County — or even neighboring counties — whether a Chamber member or not. “We understand that business took the ultimate sacrifice of closing their doors for the benefit of keeping our environment and community safe. Now let us celebrate with them,” said Barkus.

To participate, businesses can reach out to Chamber staff once they’ve determined their reopening date and time. That day, “a Chamber Staff Member and/or volunteer Thurston Chamber Ambassador will show up with a yard sign, poster, or both as well as two pieces of ribbon. We will take a photo and share with the community with a big presence on social media,” said Barkus.

It’s a celebration of endurance and to honor these small businesses and groups.

“We’ll have mayors, council members, and county commissioners attending as many as they can as it relates to their jurisdiction,” said Barkus. “We have partnered with the cities of Lacey, Olympia, Tumwater, and Thurston County to inform them on a weekly basis of what businesses are participating for the week.”

She said that it’s been hard for local civic leaders to support small businesses during the COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Healthy order but “this is a way they can.”

Fill out the Chamber’s online form or call Barkus and her team at 360-357-3362.

“Literally any business can apply,” said Barkus. “If you were open and now expanding back to normal, that’s a Tying! Contact us!”