One day ahead of the limited Phase 3 reopening of retail, restaurants and other venues in the state, the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Dan Aussem and Ottawa health and beauty product manufacturer Sigan America braved the rain to hand out cases of hand sanitizer produced by Sigan to reopening area businesses, coupling the gesture with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting downtown "to reinforce in people's mind that Ottawa businesses are coming back."
Business owners were invited to come down Jackson Street between 10 a.m. and noon to pick up the in-demand sanitizer in the fight against the novel coronavirus, handed out from a Stevenson Transfer truck.
"It's very gratifying to see," said Sigan America vice president of business operations Alex Bogdanovitch. "We've been working closely with Dan, trying to increase our footprint and our relationship with the city. ...
"Today came together because Marilyn (LaVelle, Sigan's controller/CFO) has been going to all the Chamber meetings, and she reached out... and said, 'We'd be willing to give a case (of hand sanitizer) to businesses as they're reopening,' and (Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Jeff Hettrick) said, 'Well, we're doing this.'
"It all came together really quickly."