We need to save our Chamber of Commerce | Letter to the Editor

 

Last updated 7/6/2020 at 10:40am

A virus canceled the Edmonds 4th of July festivities in 2020. It could end up canceling our Chamber of Commerce, too.

And, if that happens, even after the pandemic crisis passes, Edmonds will have no 4th of July festivities, no Halloween, no Classic Car Show, no Tree Lighting, no Taste Edmonds, and no local organization designed to keep our business community vibrant and uniquely Edmonds.

These events are not paid for by tax dollars or our city. It is the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce that produces and funds our beloved community events (and keeps them free for all) each year.

But this year, due to this pandemic, the Chamber's revenues are way down, and its very existence is in jeopardy. That also puts into jeopardy this exciting calendar of community events – events that are woven into the fun of calling Edmonds "home."

Next Fourth of July, instead of empty streets without a parade, who doesn't want to see a vibrant celebration, injecting community spirit and energy into our city again?

That's why caring Edmonds residents serving on a volunteer Chamber Task Force are coming together to encourage other caring residents to help save our Chamber of Commerce.

The situation is simple: If our community can raise $100,000 by the end of the year, we can save our Chamber and the wonderful events it produces for our community. If not, we will lose it all.

The Chamber of Commerce does much more than events. Its fundamental mission is to help our local businesses be coordinated, efficient, and healthy.

And the popularity of the public events is a fun reminder of how, behind the scenes, the Chamber of Commerce is hard at work in making our community what it has become.

The Chamber of Commerce is totally independent (it is nonpolitical and pays no dues or allegiance to any national organization). It is Edmonds for Edmonds only ¬– funded, until now, by local business memberships and Taste Edmonds.

Its operating budget is about $275,000 a year (a small staff of three, a mission of providing grants, supporting a healthy business environment for the good of our community both in the downtown and along Highway 99, and to fund the annual calendar of public events).


To save our Chamber, for the first time in its history, caring residents of our community are being asked to help out.

That's why caring residents on the Chamber Task Force are coming together to encourage other caring residents to help save our Chamber of Commerce. The situation is simple: If our community can raise $100,000 by the end of the year, we can save our Chamber. If not, we will lose it.


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Consider 40,000 people collectively raising $100,000. That's $2.50 each. Of course, the reality of these kinds of things is a few people will do the heavy lifting. We propose those heroes do ten times their fair share and support the Chamber at $25 per year to become An Edmonds Kind of Hero.

Rick Steves said, "I've attended Halloween events in Edmonds for decades. It's about the only thing in my life that I've done 30 years in a row. I love it ... it celebrates our community ... it's for all ... and it's free. In fact, nearly 10,000 people each year enjoy Halloween in Edmonds for free. By becoming An Edmonds Kind of Hero, I'll now attend this and all the other events knowing I'm doing my share to make it possible. That's $25 very well spent."

There are many ways – both big and little– to help out. The entire Chamber Task Force (who have co-written and signed this article) have joined at the simple a $25 a year level. And we challenge neighbors like you who love our town to pledge your support too.

Together we can make sure Edmonds events like An Edmonds Kind of 4th returns in 2021 and beyond. And we can be sure our business community will have the help of the Chamber to weather this COVID storm and recover stronger than ever.

Please visit http://SupportEdmonds.com to support your Edmonds Chamber and make sure events that make our city so special return in 2021!

Please join us!

Rick Steves
Patrick Doherty
Maria Montalvo
Carl Zapora
Kelsey Foster
Greg Urban
Will Chen
Marilla Sargent
Brian Baird
Nancy Ekrem
Mike Rosen
Joe McIalwain

 

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