LETTER FROM THE SRG PRESIDENT
Greetings to every member of the Soulard Restoration Group (SRG). When you elected me as your future President one year ago, none of us knew that by the time I would transition into the office (April 2020) we would be in a nationwide (and global) health crisis. Nevertheless, on April 15 the SRG conducted our monthly Board meeting (via Zoom). After the opening of our Board meeting, the outgoing President, Scott Plackemeier, formally transferred to me the office and duties of the President. Scott is now our Past President.
As your new President, I have coordinated with the Board on several actions to ensure the SRG is positioned to perform our role and meet our responsibilities to our membership and neighborhood during this health crisis where social distancing is an imperative. Here is a summary of these actions:
- Board Membership. I asked the Board members with expiring terms (Taylor Bodine and John Durnell) to remain in their positions until the April 2021 elections. Taylor and John have both agreed to do so. The remainder of the Board has agreed to this arrangement. As a result, all our Director positions and our officer positions (President, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer) are covered. Our only vacancy is President Elect. I am asking you to consider joining the SRG leadership team.
- I invite any SRG member who would like to be considered for service as President Elect to identify herself/himself to me (send email to: President@soulard.org). The candidates who step forward are willing to help lead our community. This service will be: (1) one year as President Elect, followed by (2) one year as President, and finally (3) one year as Past President.
- Since our community is unable to hold General Meetings, the SRG will conduct a virtual election as soon as feasible to formally select our next President Elect. The goal is to promptly complete our SRG leadership team.
- If conditions change and the SRG can hold General Meetings before next April, we will be able to hold elections to replace the extended-term Board members, and to vote on any other matters of concern to our membership.
- SRG General Membership. Based on the unemployment and social disruption caused by this health crisis, the Board has passed the motion to set our SRG membership dues for the next 12 months at $0. Therefore, I have asked our Membership Committee to automatically ‘extend’ membership of all current members until May 2021. If you are not currently an SRG member, this would be an ideal time to join your community organization! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- SRG Committees. Our committees are vital to the community. Each of them focuses on specific aspects of Soulard life: Beautification, Code & Zoning, Communication, Fundraising, Membership, Parlour Tour, Residential Promotion, Safety, and Soulard Station. Right now all committees are challenged, and those focused on social activities are challenged most of all. Social distancing is slowing the rate of infection, but risk of infection will continue until no one is sick (or until we have a vaccine). This has already impacted near-term SRG social events in May (our annual Membership Party is cancelled; the first concert of our Concert Series is postponed); and June (our Garden Tour is postponed). Your SRG leadership team and the corresponding committees are continually assessing the situation. I have personally asked each of our Committee Chairs to ‘think outside the box’ and consider alternative activities within the committee scope.
- President’s Letter to SRG Members. I believe it is extremely important for the President to communicate to our membership. This letter is just the beginning. Although we are unable to hold General Meetings, I intend to periodically reach out to our membership through a series of ‘President’s Letters’ as we all get through this crisis together.
Editorial Comments. As I prepare to close this letter, here are some personal thoughts on how I believe we can best get through the current health crisis.
- This is an appeal to common sense. The root problem is self-discipline and perseverance. Have you ever asked yourself, “Why is our society changing?” My theory is that people no longer want to be accountable to anyone. Decay of family structure and pursuit of pleasure at the expense of responsibility have slowly changed American culture.
- Consequently, to get through the current health crisis each of us needs to recognize the accountability we have to our neighbors. If not for ourselves, then for our community, we need to exercise the self-discipline to temporarily accept the ‘inconvenience’ of wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, and increasing our personal hygiene. Each of us needs the perseverance to stick with this approach until no one is sick or dying from the COVID-19 virus.
In closing, I am now in place as your President. I always welcome direct communication, either to myself or any of our Board members. None of us has all the answers, but the power of many can enable us to overcome even the most difficult challenges.
President, Soulard Restoration Group
Your SRG Leadership Team:
Past President (+ Membership Liaison)
Taylor Bodine - Residential Promotions Liaison
John Durnell - Beautification; Coding &Zoning Liaison
Beth Hoops - Parlour Tour Liaison
Marilyn Morris - Soulard Station Liaison
Dave Perry - Safety Liaison
Billy Tomber - Fundraising; Communications Liaison
Art in the Garden Tour - Update
It is with great regret that we announce that the 2020 Soulard Art in the Garden Tour will not take place as scheduled for June 20, 2020. The current necessity to shelter in place and remain socially distant, combined with the uncertainty of when the danger of the covid virus will abate , have resulted in this difficult decision .
The safety of our committee, hosts, artists, musicians, and guests must come first. We shall assuredly return next year— or perhaps in the Fall.
We thank all our loyal supporters, sponsors, and guests.
Luann Denten, Chair-Art in the Garden
Richard Eaton, Chair-Beautification
How are you occupying your time during quarantine?
What do you miss most about socializing in Soulard?
What projects are you working on; skills are you learning?
What's the first thing you want to do when restrictions lift?
How are you keeping your - your family’s and friends’ - spirits up?
Your neighborhood newspaper "The Soulard Renaissance" is preparing its summer issue and working to document Soulardians' response to this challenging time in history. Please share your thoughts; your story.
Send a paragraph (or few) and any photos (optional) to email@example.com. We'll compile and share all your contributions in our May print issue
If you need a mask
To my fellow Soulardians:
I hope that everyone is staying as safe as possible in this time of uncertainty & danger. I would like to extend an offer to you; I have been making fabric masks to help in the effort against the COVID virus and I wish to offer a mask to anyone that needs one.
It has been recommended by the CDC that masks be worn as an extra level of protection/prevention. While obtaining them can be difficult and expensive with an extended waiting period, the need is now.
There are people with no money or computer access or sewing knowledge or materials to create a mask, but no one should be unprotected through no fault of their own.
If you need a mask, please text me at (314) 852-9880; texts will provide me a list – a record to follow to fill the orders. I cannot promise a color or a pattern of your choice, but I can provide a two-layered, launderable facial covering to provide some protection.
As masks become ready, they will be available for pick-up on the doorstep of my home (2622 S.11th Street) in a bag labeled with your name.
If you are unable to pick-up, let me know, and we will arrange delivery.
The masks are free, there is no charge.
Stay safe neighbors!
The Soulard Business Association is selling Soulard Stronger Together T-shirts ($20 ea.) to help raise money for Soulard service industry staff who have been effected by the temporary shut downs.
Tiny Little Monster is printing the SBA’s “Soulard Stronger Together” t-shirts, but they are currently under the 30 day stay at home measure. This means they are unable to print these shirts until after the 30 days. Once they are legally able to return to work, they will get your orders completed within 1-2 weeks. Therefore Tiny Little Monster is saying that the shirts might not be available until Mid-May to Mid-June.
Shipping via USPS First Class Mail to Soulard only costs $3.21 but delivery will be one additional week after the shirts are printed and actually available.
In lieu of shipping, they can be picked up at:
Tiny Little Monster
7220 Murdoch Ave
Saint Louis, MO 63119
A Message from St. Louis Development Corporation
I want you to know that St. Louis Development Corporation is working with our regional partners to provide information, resources, and assistance to small businesses. We are here to help. Please check out the resources below and go to their websites for the most current information and applications. If you need assistance, please call the Small Business Resource Hotline at 314-615-1777.
COVID-19 Regional Business Information Center
The St. Louis Regional Chamber is keeping the most up-to-date website to provide information on COVID-19, with information on business resources, regional resources, travel, and event updates. Please check it often to see the latest information. You can find that website here.
Regional Impact Survey
Please fill out the Regional Impact Survey so we can learn more about your needs and how we can serve you better. You can find the Regional Impact Survey here.
Small Business Resource Fund
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and the St. Louis Development Corporation are offering a zero percent interest loan of up to $5,000 for small businesses in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County that have sustained economic damage due to the COVID-19 crisis. Loan details can be found here.
Apply here. For questions about the program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Louis Community Foundation Regional Response Fund
The St. Louis Community Foundation has established two funds to help small businesses and nonprofits.
The Gateway Resilience Fund will help provide short-term monetary relief to small locally-owned businesses and their employees. The St. Louis Downtown Community Improvement District is also offering up to $5,000 in grants for downtown restaurants. To learn more about this fund, click here.
The Regional Response Fund was established to direct aid to local nonprofit organizations delivering services to people affected by the virus including children, the elderly, and isolated. To learn more, click here.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). All businesses in Missouri and Illinois are eligible to apply. Loans can be made for up to $2 million. Submit an application to SBA for a disaster loan at here. For more information on the three step process for obtaining a disaster loan, click here.
America’s SBDC - Missouri
To help business owners prepare for the changing circumstances associated with COVID-19, the Missouri Small Business Development Center (SBDC) suggests the following steps to take for businesses financially impacted: Find those steps here.
Contact SBDC Business Counselor, Colleen Mulvihill, directly at email@example.com.
United Way 2-1-1
Serving United Way of Greater St. Louis’ service area and the entire state of Missouri, United Way 2-1-1 connects people to services that help them live their best possible lives – from basic needs to childcare to disaster relief to counseling. For more information, click here.
Ameren Missouri Income Relief Program
STL Take It Home supports local businesses.
MO DED Covid-19 Business Resources
Find where kids can get free meals in St. Louis and the Metro East.
Commercial District Manager
Wards 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 20, 23, 27
Neighborhood Business Development
St. Louis Development Corporation
1520 Market Street, Suite 2000
St. Louis MO 63103
Soulard in the News
Mission Rock Residential to Manage Apartments in St. Louis' Soulard Neighborhood - prnewswire
If you see Soulard in the news send links to firstname.lastname@example.org
Off the Island
If you have any pictures of yourself with Soulard merchandise somewhere other than Soulard please email the pics and a short description to email@example.com be featured in our "Off The Island" section.