Were you eligible for federal funding, such as the PPP and EIDL loans? The Chamber is a 501(c)6, and as such, we were not eligible for PPP funding or many of the other grants available to small businesses. We did apply for and receive an EIDL loan, which if used would need to start being paid back in April, 2021. The issue with the EIDL loan is two-fold. First, without events we would not be able to make payments on the loan, and second, the liability our board and staff would take on if we aren't able to make payments. At a time of such uncertainty we want to act fiscally conservative and responsible and must avoid defaulting on a federal loan.
How did you come up with $130,000? There is still so much ambiguity for events our size to be held in 2020 and 2021. In order for the Chamber to survive and continue to offer its many services we need either two part-time staff or one full-time staff. We chose to proceed cautiously and assume we will not be able to hold any events through 2021. Given salaries and minimal operating expenses we estimate we will need $130,000 to bridge us from August 1, 2020 through December 31, 2021. Note, this is just 33% of our operating budget from 2019.
Prior to 2020, what covered your operating budget? 77% of our operations are covered by event revenue, while 23% of operations are covered by membership dues revenue. With zero events during 2020, and our last revenue generating event occurring in September 2019, our budget took a hard hit.
What events does the Chamber provide the community on a "normal" year? The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber operates the following free events, which are open to the public. -Luck o' the Lake (Saturday closest to St Patrick's Day) -Excelsior Farmers' Market -Excelsior Art on the Lake (second weekend in June) -Lake Minnetonka 4th of July Celebration -Excelsior Crazy Days (third week in July) -Apple Day (third Saturday in September) -Halloween in Excelsior (Saturday closest to Halloween) -Christmas in Excelsior (Saturdays in December)
We also operate the Lake Minnetonka Running Series -Luck o' the Lake + 1 Mile/5K -Firecracker Run + 1 Mile/5K/10K -Apple of the Lake + 1 Mile/5K
How many events was the Chamber able to host in 2020? Zero. The COVID-19 pandemic struck two days before our first event of the year - Luck o' the Lake - and we were forced to cancel the event for the safety of the community.
What if you are able to host events in 2021? If we are able to host events in 2021 and at some point have excess money and are operating normally, the funds raised through these efforts will then get split. 50% will go towards rebuilding the Chamber's reserve funds and 50% will be directly injected back into the local business community.