Open Letter to our Legislatures
The Prince of Wales Island Chamber of Commerce would like to thank you for your support in making the PPP Funding or the Paycheck Protection Program funding available to small businesses on Prince of Wales Island. Without this funding, the POW Chamber may have had to lay off or greatly reduce the hours for our sole employee. While the amount of money that we received was not great, it covered our payroll and rent and utilities for 8 weeks. This made a difference.
The Prince of Wales Chamber of Commerce represents more than 250 businesses, and during this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic we have communicated with our membership about safe practices in doing business while still providing service, as well as providing information on where to go to get financial support to support payroll and certain other expenses. Our board of directors & staff have participated in Webinars and other online meetings and then posted the notes and information on our website and blog for the benefit of our members and ALL Prince of Wales businesses.
In the past three weeks, we have offered Virtual Luncheons with guest speakers, including Robert Venables Executive Director for Southeast Conference and Nils Andreassen Executive Director for the Alaska Municipal League presenting on the CARES Funding for both businesses and municipalities. These Virtual Luncheons have been well attended. We have posted the recordings to our website as well for those businesses who could not attend. We intend to continue these services and more during the course of this pandemic, and perhaps this will represent a new way of doing business in the future.
On behalf of all of our membership, we would like to thank you very much for all that you do for Alaska. Many small businesses have been able to stay afloat with the gap funding that was provided not only through the Paycheck Protection Program, but also through the loans made available through the Small Business Development Association and through the CARES program. Our local bank, First Bank and our banker Lynnette Logan have worked endlessly to facilitate the applications for this funding.
Submitted by Karen Petersen
POW Chamber of Commerce Director