Thursday, September 3, 2020

August 2020 President's Letter

 August, 2020

Dear Chamber Member:

We all know just how difficult the last six months have been on you personally and on your business. The chamber is like your business - dependent on individuals to make things work. We have only one paid position and that is for our invaluable Visitor Center Manager, Cynthia Crow.

We are dependent on dues, advertising and events to bring in our income. At this point, we have had to cancel our Fireworks and Oktoberfest for 2020 so that leaves us only with the dues you pay. Up until now, the town of Southwest Harbor has not committed any funds to our running of the visitor center. By contrast, both Bar Harbor and Mount Desert help fund their visitor centers.

So what does the Visitor Center provide? Most years, we have 50 or more visitors drop by every day, looking for places to eat, stay and for things to do. This year, of course that number has been lower, but our Visitor Center, located at Harbor House, has still seen 700 people. We publish our own maps and guides, and display our member's brochures and rack cards. We also host events like the Fireworks and Oktoberfest, which bring visitors to town and to your businesses.

As a consequence of the current state of affairs, your board of directors has changed our dues structure in hopes of helping you out in 2021. The new format makes it easy for you to choose exactly which Chamber services you want. Please review the A La Cart Dues Description to learn about your base dues and the new options packages.

You will be receiving an email which contains a link to your dues page, where you will be able to select membership options and immediately see the impact on your dues. We have initially set it up so that it includes your base dues and two option packages, plus any extras you are currently signed up for. We are offering a discount on your 2021 dues, but if you can afford it, please help us out by paying the full amount. Please make any desired changes by September 30, 2020, after which the page will be locked and changes cannot be made. We will then email your final invoice in early October. If you need assistance, please contact Cynthia in the office.

Your membership dues invoices will be coming to you via email, beginning this year. Other invoices, such as billing for Trail Map ads and monthly statements on past due accounts, will still be mailed to you. As always, you can set up a payment plan for any amounts due, and if you would like to pay by credit card, simply call Cynthia at the office.

Lastly, our Annual Meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 19th at 5:30PM. This year, the meeting will be held “virtually”. Details will be emailed to you as soon as they are finalized. Please plan on attending. We will recap 2020; talk about a few plans for 2021 and would like to hear from you about your needs from the Chamber.

Thank you for supporting the Chamber in 2020. We count on your support for 2021 and beyond.


Ruth Davis


Southwest Harbor & Tremont Chamber of Commerce