CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — COVID-19 has presented many challenges for local businesses in the Coastal Bend. Organizations like Chambers of Commerce have been working hard to help its members during these difficult times.
“Events' revenue has been zero this year. We have not been able to have any of our events so we are struggling,” said Vice President of Government and Community Relations at United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Ginny Cross.
Many of our areas, Chambers of Commerce have been helping businesses find resources. The biggest challenge for many of these nonprofit organizations is helping others when they have little funds of their own.
“Our money comes from memberships, events; we don’t get any kind of funding. We are not the only chamber, it is all the chambers,” said Portland Chamber Chairman of the Board Stephanie Turany.
“We are not qualified for a 501(c)6, hopefully, that will change in the next round. For right now, because our events are down, we don’t have the extra income to keep our doors open. So we are trying to find new ways to be innovative and creative. The fact of the matter is that the coronavirus is here, it's going to be here for a while, we are just going to have to learn to coexist with it and do things in a safe manner,” said Aransas Pass Chamber of Commerce CEO Rosemary Vega.
They are also finding ways to be creative to do what they can to keep their doors open and help one another.
“In the meantime, we have to be creative, and we are working on ways we can have our signature events, while social distancing,” said Vice President of Government and Community Relations at United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce Ginny Cross.
“We are doing a lot of research. We have a lot of help in the industry from other chambers across the country, just not here in Texas, but all over. We are reaching out to and getting ideas from each other and working from there,” said Portland Chamber of Commerce CEO Shelly Stuart.
Chambers across the Coastal Bend have been working with elected representatives to create a bill that will enable them to be included in the Paycheck Protection Program.