Smithers Council has agreed to provide an emergency grant of $20,000 to the Smithers District Chamber of Commerce.
Deputy mayor Gladys Atrill says the COVID-19 pandemic has created extra work for the chamber, which has been helping local businesses navigate through the various federal and provincial financial assistance programs available.
[PHOTO: Gladys Atrill, Deputy Mayor of Smithers -- TOWN OF SMITHERS]
And at the same time, the Chamber is facing a sharp drop in revenues of up to $65,000 this year due to the pandemic.
"And while that isn't going to make up for everything that's predicted to be lost, it will help and as much as anything, we wanted to let the chamber know that we value the work that their doing, that they are our partner along with other agencies during this as we try to figure out how to support residents and businesses through, and just to give the staff a little bit of breathing room -- I've had many calls with the chamber manager where she's urging people to get the membership fees in -- that the income is needed for the chamber -- so it's not just the membership loss but it's the loss of income through events, the chamber hosts events as they all do, so whether it's trade shows, business awards, monthly luncheons, events to support businesses and those, of course, aren't happening either," she said.
The Chamber says it greatly appreciates the assistance.
Chamber President Greg Wacholtz says it shows that the Town of Smithers recognizes the hard work of chamber manager Sheena Miller and staff member Susan Bundock during the COVID crisis.