August CACC Update from Tony & Ken
Greetings Chamber Friends. A LOT has happened since we last checked in. Like businesses and organizations all across Cape Ann – and around the world — we have significantly adapted our operations to best meet the new realities of life with the pandemic. The Chamber team has been working from home since the middle of March, and without an office since moving out of our 33 Commercial Street location the end of April.
Our work these past several months has focused on supporting our members through this pandemic — with newsletter updates, website and Facebook updates, Zoom information sessions, and continuing coordination with all municipalities on business re-opening planning.
July and August, typically our peak visitor and summertime fun season, takes on new meaning during this pandemic. We moved our Education Fundraiser Golf Tournament at Bass Rocks from May to July, and we had a very successful day with a record 122 players. Our first big summer event, the July Block Party, was instead presented as Shop, Stroll & Dine, with changes that ensured we could do the event safely while still benefiting Main Street businesses. It was controlled and safe, by design, and we are gearing-up for the next one in a couple of weeks. Our Annual Love Cape Ann Fundraising Auction is being moved to November, and it will be held as an online event. On August 29, we are holding our Festival by the Sea event in Manchester as a sidewalk sale – stay tuned for details on this. And finally, the Waterfront Festival is postponed until September.
Our BIG news is that we will be relocating to our new offices on Harbor Loop this month, featuring a beautiful new Visitor Center depicting all that Cape Ann has to offer, and a large Collaboration Center for our members and the community. See more about this in a related article, and click on this link
for this month’s August Love Cape Ann Report from 1623 Studios
Our affiliated Cape Ann Community Foundation also has big news – they are thrilled to announce their 020 grants recipients. We have awarded another $15,000 this year and a total of more than $50,000 to local non-profits and schools over the past four years — all from proceeds of the Cape Ann License Plate. The winners this year are: Backyard Growers, Essex Historical Society & Shipbuilding Museum, Manchester Summerstage, Maritime Gloucester, North Shore Health Project, and Rockport Exchange. Given the record number of applications and the many challenges faced by every non-profit organization in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, board members were greatly impressed with the diversity and quality of the grant proposals that were submitted.
Cape Ann’s vibrant business community plays an important role in what makes this area a special place to live, work and play. Together we are making great things happen, building on our strong heritage to create a bright future – Together we will get through this, and emerge stronger.