Chisago Lakes Chamber

Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, Shafer & Taylors Falls

July 2020 Newsletter

A Message From the Board of Directors

Words are important. They hold power and they matter. There are lots of words that I have heard lately to describe the year 2020 but I would like to share a few that continually come to mind.

Innovation – Over the past few months I have heard of businesses and organizations working in new and creative ways to “float the boat” through rough waters. It has been inspiring to me to hear of new practices put in place that will far outlive 2020.

Introspection – Businesses, including the chamber, have been spending valuable time reviewing protocol and current systems of operation. In the face of current events, many of us have taken a healthy look in the mirror at our daily lives to reevaluate our priorities and to fine tune the way we do business. Changes have been made that might otherwise have been put to the back burner, but given the time, many have shifted to a safer and more inclusive way to do business.

Empathy – 6 months ago no one had ever heard of COVID-19 and Australia had not yet burned. 4 months ago, the stock market was booming. 6 weeks ago, none of us had ever heard the name George Floyd. These and other global events will have an impact on our world for generations to come. Our entire world has had incalculable opportunities to show empathy, sympathy, kindness, and compassion. Throughout our community I have seen organizations share money, resources, labor, and support to neighbors in need and it makes me immeasurably proud.

As a community of businesses, we have had a call to answer. We had to tighten our belts, open our eyes, open our hearts, and in some cases, open our wallets to come out on top. 2020 has not been easy for anyone, but I am taking a moment today to reflect on all the good and wonderful things that have happened so far this year. Here in Chisago Lakes we live among some of the best people this world has to offer. We are strong, we are united, we are resilient, and yes Chisago Lakes… Together We Rise!

Katie Malchow

Chisago Lakes Chamber

Executive Director

Chamber News & Events!

  • Chamber Board Meeting - Thursday, July 2nd 3:30-5:00pm
  • Chamber Luncheon - TBD
  • Friday Fika - Friday, July 10th 8:30am at the Chamber Office (masks please)
  • Newsletter Deadline: 25th of every month
  • Newsflash Deadline: Every Monday

Small Business Relief Grants Program

Small Business Relief Grants Program closes Thursday, July 2nd

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) has announced that the Minnesota Small Business Relief Grants Program – which was approved by the Minnesota Legislature last week and signed by Governor Tim Walz – will be accepting applications through Thursday, July 2nd.

This program will provide $10,000 grants to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses with 50 or fewer full-time employees are eligible. Half of the funding will go to businesses in Greater Minnesota and half to businesses in the seven-county Twin Cities metro area, as required by law.

Additional requirements include:

  • $18 million for businesses with six or fewer full-time employees
  • $10 million for minority business enterprises
  • $2.5 million for veteran-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for women-owned businesses
  • $2.5 million for operators of indoor retail and food markets with an ethnic cultural emphasis

The application period began on Tuesday, June 23rd and will close at 5:00 pm on Thursday, July 2nd to fulfill the 10-day period required by the law. A randomized, computer-generated lottery process will be used to select eligible businesses that will receive awards. All awards will be administered by qualified local and regionally based nonprofit agencies, and the grant funds can be used for working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility bills, and other similar business expenses.

To be eligible, businesses must have a permanent physical location in Minnesota and be majority owned by a permanent resident of Minnesota. Businesses must be able to demonstrate hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Additional eligibility requirements and application information can be found online at DEED’s Small Business Relief Grants page.

DEED is the state’s principal economic development agency, promoting business recruitment, expansion and retention, workforce development, international trade and community development. For more information about the agency and its services visit the DEED website or follow DEED on Twitter.

Chisago Lakes Blandin Broadband Community

We are excited to be receiving $75,000 for Community Broadband Projects. At this time we are looking for community input on project ideas. We appreciate all suggestions and encourage your involvement.

· Link to voting form

· Link to printable project list

The Chisago Lakes Area Steering Team will make final funding allocations, however projects with passionate volunteers are more likely to move forward than projects with many points and fewer volunteers. Voting will close on Friday, July 10. Please feel free to share with other Chisago Lakes Area people you think would be interested.

Chamber Golf Tournament

Chamber Golf Tournament

Thursday, August 20th

The Golf Tournament is on! This year we are limited to only 24 teams so get your registration in as quickly as you can. Please see Registration Form for tournament details.

TED Talks

The Language of Being Human

by Poet Ali (Click Here)

As we find ourselves inundated with information, news, and updates on the COVID-19 pandemic, I found this TED Talk to be a healthy alternative. I hope you enjoy.

Picket Fence Gals

Picket Fence Gals Sale July 8th-12th

Wednesday 3:00-7:00pm

Thursday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Sunday 11:00am-4:00pm

We will be fully open in July with new hours! We are excited to have our customers back! Please know that the health and safety of our customers is our #1 concern, therefore we have the following guidelines.

> One entrance-one exit

> Indoor and outdoor registers each day, weather permitting

> Must wear a mask in buildings, and masks are strongly suggested in the yard

> Social distancing

>Hand washing machine available at exit. Hand sanitizer at all checkouts

Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association Events

16th Annual CLLA Boat Parade

Saturday, July 4th at 2:00pm

Lindstrom’s Beach Park on South Lindstrom Lake. Judging begins around 1:45 pm. Prizes will be awarded for Best Decorated, Most Spirit and President’s Choice. The Parade route follows the shoreline from Beach Park through the channel to the Shores of Eagle Ridge Development on Chisago Lake.

You do not need to decorate your boat to participate in the fun and feel free to jump in and out at any point. Make sure to post your photos to our Face Book page using the hashtag #CLLA.

* In case of inclement weather, the CLLA Executive Board will make a determination at 9:00am and post it on social media. Please note that the DNR’s recommendation to limit participants on your watercraft to household isolation buddies is still in effect. Remember to boat safely and enjoy the water!

Karl Oskar Day Paddle

Saturday, July 11th 9:00am-12:00pm

The Chisago-Lindstrom Lakes Association is hosting an impromptu paddle event in conjunction with Karl Oskar Days. Leaving from Paradise Park, traversing the North Passage and ending up at Center City Dock area at noon. Picnic lunch optional.

Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) invites you to a weekly webinar to discuss worker rights and responsibilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. This will be an opportunity to hear from DLI leadership, as well as updates from other state agencies. The webinar will include an extended question-and-answer session and an opportunity to learn more about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting you and your members.

  • When: Wednesday, July 1st, from 2:15pm - 3:00pm (45 minutes)
  • Who: Labor leaders, worker organizations and community organizations
  • To register click HERE

Please email questions or topics you’d like addressed to Dave Skovholt, DLI outreach coordinator, at If you have questions about this webinar or future collaboration opportunities, please contact Naheeda Hirji-Walji, DLI’s director of public engagement, at

Pleasant Valley Orchard


Opening Daily 7:00am (or until ripe berries are all picked)

17325 Pleasant Valley Road, Shafer


Pleasant Valley Orchard offers three acres of mouth-watering strawberries for your picking enjoyment! Our fields are super clean. The straw mulch that protects the berries from the harsh Minnesota winters makes for minimal dirt, mud and weeds. If you’re looking for fancy, you won’t find it here. Just an awning, some tables and a couple of scales. We take cash, checks or credit cards.. Please check out our Strawberry Page with details for 2020 berry picking and protocol. Feel free to call ahead to double check picking times. 651-257-9159.

Gustaf's Up North Gallery

Gustaf's Up North Gallery July Calendar of Events

13025 Lake Blvd, Lindstrom


  • July 1st: Nathan Hager Exhibit
Join us for the opening of a 6-week exhibit of artist Nathan Hager's beautiful oil paintings!
  • July 4th-5th: Closed for Independence Day
  • July 6th-12th: Kristina Oskar Shopping Days
Karl might be taking this summer off, but Kristina still wants to shop! Join us for deals, events, and other fun surprises! Subscribe to our mailing list on our website and be the first to get all the details.

Franconia Sculpture Park


29836 St. Croix Trail, Shafer



1st & 3rd Thursday of the Month 12:30pm (through August)

In this time of necessary social distancing Franconia is honored to provide a place for families and friends to gather (at a safe social distance, of course), explore, and enjoy the fresh air at our 43 acres of contemporary sculpture. We are also committed to providing engaging programming to those who are far away or otherwise unable to visit the park in person. You loved our Virtual Sculpture Tours so we're excited about our next round of digital programming (through August)!


Throwback Thursday, July 2nd: Molly Valentine Dierks, 2019 Open Studio Fellow

Throwback Thursday, July 16th: Lewis Colburn, 2018 Open Studio Fellow

Join us for an Instagram Live interview with one of our past artists-in-residence, discussing their work since they've been at the park & what they're working on now (approx 15-20 min)!


Sunday, July 5th 10:00am - 2:00pm

2020 is the inaugural year of the Franconia Art & Farmers Market–a fun and unique way to connect art, agriculture, and audiences in the idyllic setting of Franconia’s 43-acre outdoor museum and sculpture park. The first Sunday of each month, through October, local farmers and artists will come together to provide a variety of fresh produce and handmade crafts to our nearly 150,000 annual visitors. Each event is a fun way for people to connect directly with the local farmers and artists in the St. Croix River Valley. If you're interested in learning more about our vendors or in becoming a vendor please visit our website HERE


Saturday, July 11th 2:00-6:00pm

This Music@Franconia highlights the best in new Americana, always a popular favorite at the park. Food and drink available for purchase. Parking $5

2:30pm-3:15pm Matt Hannah is a Minneapolis-based folk Americana singer-songwriter. His music has been heard on KCMP The Current and radio stations throughout the country. His album Dreamland was called “not only original…but inspired” by the Star Tribune and City Pages.

3:30pm-4:30pm King Wilkie’s Dream is a Minnesota bluegrass band that has a wonderful energy and unique ability to engage a crowd. Bluegrass, blues, swing, Americana, country, tin pan alley, and a little pop are all represented in their music, which entertains in a way that transcends generations and connects with audiences.

4:45pm-5:45pm Pleasure Horse is the duo of songwriter Tim Evenson and guitarist Ben Mahowald. Dave Hoenack of Hymie’s Records says: “Pleasure Horse offers just a little of everything you’ve ever loved about country music: beer-soaked heartbreak and twang, a little Tex-Mex, and a little rock and roll.”


Tuesday, July 14th 6:00pm with 2020 Fellow Don Edler

Franconia's longstanding "Dinner & Discussion" lecture series invites the community to engage with visiting artists in a fun and informal setting. Artists give a one-hour presentation, followed by dinner and a community dialogue about the work. Suggested donation of $10.

Don Edler is a Los Angeles-based artist who has been developing a body of sculptural works concerned with the evolution of human-made images, and their relationship to information, visual noise, and language. Edler will discuss the relationship between human waste and culture production by looking at the role trash has played in shaping our understanding of early human culture. He will also discuss his past burial projects and urban scavenging practice in relation to the work while in-residence at Franconia Sculpture Park.

**In an effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, this Dinner & Discussion will also be held via Facebook Live. If you're unable to attend in person please join us from the comfort of your own home and send your questions for Don through Facebook Live!

Chisago Age Well Coalition

Ongoing Free Program for Caregivers and Their Loved Ones

Offered by Lakes and Pines CAC

During Covid-19 many more people are caring for their elderly spouse or parents in their home who might otherwise take advantage of respite care services or congregate living facilities. These caregivers (and their family members) need a break and this program is designed to provide some help online. Please share this flyer with your employees, friends and neighbors. They need to call the 800 number to register and receive the link for the online events. Event Flyer

Xcel Energy

Dear Community and Chamber Leaders:

This week we proposed one of the largest packages of energy investments in Minnesota’s history. We are calling it the Xcel Energy Relief and Recovery Proposal.

The proposed investment of nearly $3 billion in accelerated and incremental energy projects is part of our response to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) and Department of Commerce request for energy companies to help with job growth and Minnesota’s economic recovery. The attached information sheet provides an easy-to-read quick summary of our proposal. Information Sheet

The projects we’ve proposed would create more than 5,000 jobs across the state, while keeping bills stable even as we move forward with these significant investments. The projects will bring significant system benefits and expedite our clean energy transition – our vision to be 100% carbon-free by 2050.

As a regulated utility, there will be public vetting of the proposals through the PUC. If your community or organization has questions, I would be happy to provide more detail.

Colette Jurek

Manager, Community Relations & Economic Development