As this year is winding to a close, I want to thank all of members and partners who worked with us to overcome the numerous challenges we faced this year. Like you, I had high hopes for a year of growth with businesses creating new job opportunities in a strong economy. Our expectations quickly turned to disappointments as the biggest public health crisis in over 100 years tore through our country. Our hearts go out to everyone who has suffered the loss of family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues. The disruption caused by the pandemic will reverberate for years to come.
While we came together to address this one in a lifetime pandemic, the death of George Floyd and countless others laid bare the deep divisions that persist in this country. Numerous people came together, including many business owners in the North Branch, to peacefully protest the horrific racism that continues, and then we tragically witnessed people take advantage of peaceful protests leading to substantial destruction throughout our communities. We join with others to condemn racism and the politics of divisiveness.
Despite the challenges we have faced, I remain hopeful for a brighter 2021. New businesses continue to open, and we will work with them to overcome barriers, attract capital, and create jobs. We will work with our partners in the City, lenders, and community groups to make sure that existing businesses can continue to protect their staff and serve their customers. We will advocate for infrastructure resources, grants, and policies that enable our communities to thrive. We will continue to support the creation of high-quality, family-sustaining jobs in the manufacturing and industrial sectors, while also supporting small businesses to open and grow. The North Branch is a great area in which to have a business, and we urge you to join us as a member so that we can continue to build a better Chicago.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and our staff, I wish you Happy Holidays and a safe, healthy, and prosperous new year!