ARCHDALE — Archdale City Council was updated last week on a series of developments occurring in 2020 as Beverly Nelson, president of the Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce provided the organization’s annual report.
Nelson debriefed members on key elements of the chamber’s activity over the span of last year.
“Let me sum up our 2020 activity by saying that whatever we do, we are always bound by our mission,” Nelson said. “Most of our activities were focused on providing information to our members [during the pandemic]. We had to pivot to identify what we could do and what we needed to do in this very unusual and unanticipated environment.”
Nelson said the chamber served as a conduit of information in the first eight months of 2020 by providing key details from the county, the state, the small business administration, local banks, the county health department, as well as the cities of Archdale and Trinity. For several months, staff distributed a daily newsletter that provided resources to its members to assist them navigate through the pandemic.
Chamber staff size was reduced, but the chamber retained 90.7% of its membership during the pandemic, according to Mayor Bert Lance-Stone.
“As soon as it became clear that we would see critically-reduced revenues because of meeting restrictions, we furloughed all staff, everyone, myself and reduced our labor costs by 58%,” Nelson said. “As we had projected for 59% of our funding to come from events and programs, this was our only choice to sustain our organization.”
Staff and community volunteers continue to attend municipal and county meetings, in person or remotely when permitted. A less aggressive program in 2021 than is usually presented was brought before council due to the volatile nature of the economy.
“Our 2021 plans are predicated on COVID meeting restrictions being in place for at least the first six months of 2021, severely impacting our normal work,” Nelson said. “As we made our revenue projections for 2021, we felt confident in bringing back a chamber employee. However, her staff hours were still reduced to 67% as compared to pre-COVID levels.”
A PPP loan allowed the chamber to increase the hours of its employees in early March.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.