The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce serves the South Lake area which includes Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood, Tonka Bay, and beyond. We have been acting on behalf of businesses, organizations and residents since the first developments appeared on the shores of Lake Minnetonka.
2020 has been an unprecedentedly hard year for many businesses, and The Chamber is no exception. Our financial operational model is based on a mixture of dues paying memberships and revenue from events – to be specific, 23% of our operations are paid for by membership dues and 77% of our operations are paid for by event revenue. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, events were not recommended by the CDC and, later, not allowed via Executive Orders from Governor Walz. While we fully support these efforts and ordinances, the lack of events took a direct hit to our budget. During 2020 we have had to cancel all events to-date. The Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber currently has a run rate through July 31, 2020. After that date, the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Chamber of Commerce will be forced to close down all operations and cease to exist.
In order to continue to serve the businesses, members and community at large, we are needing to raise $130,000 to get us through December 2021. This amount is 33% of our 2019 operating budget, includes just 2 part-time employees and assumes no events offered in 2021 given the ongoing uncertainty.
Over the years, The Chamber has brought many community and business events to the area such as Luck o’ the Lake, Excelsior Art on the Lake, Lake Minnetonka 4th of July Celebration, Excelsior Crazy Days, Apple Day, Halloween in Excelsior and Christmas in Excelsior. During the trying times of COVID, The Chamber rallied around the business community offering weekly Supporting Small Business During Uncertain Times meetings to share best practices, worked diligently with the SBA and DEED regarding EIDL and PPP funding as well as other grants offered for our local businesses, we created the Lake Minnetonka Business Grant – fundraising and giving away $7,876 to 21 businesses, offered Bridge Memberships to get membership benefits to businesses immediately but invoicing them at a later date, formed the Safe & Open Initiative providing guidelines for all businesses to operate safely and welcome back customers, and coordinated messaging and information dissemination efforts with cities and public safety. It’s these services and impact in our community we are at risk of losing.