Pandemic forces furloughs at Edmonds Chamber of Commerce
Last updated 9/1/2020 at 4:32pm
The Edmonds Chamber of Commerce has furloughed two-thirds of staff, leaving only President and CEO Greg Urban in the office on Fifth Avenue North.
Erica Sugg and communication and program coordinator Alicia Moreno are on furlough through the remainder of the year, Urban said in a news release.
“Alicia and Erica are critical team members of the Edmonds Chamber,” Urban said. “Their dedication to this community, our members, and the chamber’s mission are unwavering. I am so proud to work with such amazing people and look forward to their return.”
Many businesses and organizations have been hit hard financially during this pandemic and are making tough choices to stay afloat. Recognizing this, the Edmonds City Chamber in June agreed to waive the chamber’s $713 monthly rent payments from July through December.
Urban said he anticipates things will continue to be difficult until its large-scale fundraising events – such as Taste Edmonds and An Edmonds Kind of Fourth – are once again allowed.
“The cancellation of all our large events in 2020 has dealt a huge blow to the Edmonds Chamber, as these events not only delight the community but are a major source of funding for the Chamber,” said Moreno.
“The support by our community through the ‘An Edmonds Kind of Hero’ campaign has been heartwarming and gives us so much hope for the year ahead."
While the funds received thus far are appreciated, Urban said, it is his hope that by reducing payroll expenses now, the chamber will have a chance to make it into and through 2021.
Members may experience a reduction in outreach and engagement typical of a pre-pandemic Edmonds Chamber, but much of the current programming will continue.
“Our weekly Networking Zoom breakfasts continue every Wednesday and have actually opened up a fun opportunity for retail businesses to show off their spaces, as they present to the group virtually,” Urban said.
As new members join, Urban said he would help coordinate ribbon-cutting ceremonies.
“Networking and making connections have always been at the heart of the Edmonds Chamber,” he said, “and that will not cease. With the help of our community and continued success of the ‘An Edmonds Kind of Hero’ campaign, we will be able to welcome back Alicia and Erica in early 2021.”
To contribute to “An Edmonds Kind of Hero”: http://www.edmondschamber.com/support-edmonds/.