December CACC Update from Tony & Ken
With the wind gusting and temperatures falling, it is indeed beginning to feel a bit like Christmas and the holidays on Cape Ann.
We are in full holiday mode as we gear up to bring Santa – safely – to Cape Ann’s shores, encouraging residents and visitors to shop local, and celebrating the season in each of our four communities. This year the emphasis is on extending the shopping events and downplaying St. Nick’s arrival to ensure that we enjoy the holidays safely.
It has been an incredibly challenging 2020, and yet this has been perhaps the finest year in our almost 100 year history, as we weathered the pandemic together and found new ways to serve our businesses and support the entire Cape Ann community.
Below are a few highlights of this unprecedented year:
- Closed our office and went virtual starting mid-March; moved out of our Commercial Street location in April and completed the build-out and move to Harbor Loop the end of August – this was celebrated by a COVID-safe ribbon cutting on August 28 with our state legislators and government officials and business leaders from all four communities
- An important focus this year has been on supporting our members and the entire Cape Ann community through the pandemic, and we did this with our COVID-19 updates, at first daily and then three times a week through May; with these updates we provided the most comprehensive and consolidated information on the North Shore from local, state and national authorities
- Another pandemic initiative was our dedicated COVID-19 webpage and weekly member information-sharing update seminars via Zoom
- We also assisted many members with grant and application information for the Paycheck Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs
- We organized more than 25 ribbon cuttings, helping to promote new business openings, expansions and anniversaries
- We promoted our members and the region with more than 200,000 updates in print, through our four (4!) websites, and our many social media platforms
- We refocused all our events, presenting some online and cancelling others; our holiday events program was reformatted to extend over the entire month of December, with a “shop local” emphasis
- Through our affiliated Cape Ann Community Foundation, we supported the Cape Ann License Plate and helped to award another $15,000 in grants to local area non-profits and our schools, totaling more than $50,000 over the past four years
As 2020 draws to a close, we are developing ways to build on all that we learned and experienced since March, carrying forward many of these initiatives from the past year – while preparing for a return to better times.
All of you — in particular our Members, our Board, and the Chamber Team –are to be credited for this remarkable year, and we thank you. Together we have stayed strong and are making a difference, building on our strong heritage to create a bright future for all of Cape Ann. We are poised to begin the new year well-positioned to execute our mission: to serve as the leading advocate for business on Cape Ann by promoting our members and building the economy, celebrating our culture, and enhancing our quality of life.
We look forward to working with you through the holiday season and in the New Year. Together, we will emerge from the challenges of 2020 to create new opportunities for this incredible region we all love.
Tony and Ken