Scugog chamber seeking funds to help stabilize after COVID-19 pandemic

by The Standard | May 5th, 2022

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: Scugog Councillors heard some sobering news about the future of the Scugog Chamber of Commerce at a recent meeting.

“If we’re not successful [at getting Township funding] we will have to relook at the Chamber’s involvement and organization in Scugog. We have cut our costs down in the last two years to keep our head above water. But we’re not prepared to work under a situation where we cannot be successful and self-supporting,” Terry Vos told members of Scugog Council. “I’ve tried other avenues. We will continue trying many, many more avenues. But if we’re not successful, the possibility that we could have to close our doors does exist. We are not going to spend money we don’t have.”

At the meeting, Terry Vos and Michael Filip requested a $6,500 grant from the Township for the Chamber to be able to bring back many of their regular events, as well as a loan of $31,000 to help with economic growth.

“Like many businesses in the township during the pandemic, the chamber was not immune to the effects of the pandemic. Membership remained relatively stable, but we did see the loss of some businesses who were unable to survive the pandemic financially. It should be noted the membership dues only account for 30 percent of our operating budget,” explained Mr. Filip.

Mr. Filip stated, because of events being cancelled due to the pandemic and some temporary declines in membership, the chamber saw “a significant decline in revenue.” He added the chamber did not qualify for many government financial supports during the pandemic, which local businesses received.

“While we were successful in wage and rent subsidies in the last two years, we no longer qualify in 2022,” he said.

Councillors later voted to refer the request to Township staff for them to craft a report.