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Scugog council makes decisions on Scugog chamber funding request

DAN CEARNS, The Standard

SCUGOG: After much discussion and deliberation, Scugog Council made a decision regarding the Scugog Chamber of Commerce’s funding request.

At a meeting on Monday, May 9th, councillors voted to “authorize a grant of $6,500 to the Scugog Chamber of Commerce to promote events in Port Perry and the Shop Where you Live initiative” and to have the Township’s treasurer and CAO “negotiate a loan arrangement with the Chamber, if required, only to facilitate the repayment of the Federal COVID loan, so the organization is able to maintain the grant portion allowed if the repayment is made by the end of 2023.” The grant will be funded from the Township’s 2021 surplus.

Council also made sure to include, “the loan be interest-bearing and be repaid in full within two years of the loan.”

Ward 3 Councillor Robert Rock had originally suggested having the loan arrangement be considered in January 2023.

“What I think would be a better use would be to review this in January of 2023 to see what anticipated shortfall the chamber may have in repaying the loan,” he explained.

However, Ward 1 Councillor Ian McDougall was concerned this would leave the chamber “in the lurch, without knowing if the municipality will support them should they fall short [of the funds needed to pay back the COVID loan.].”

At a previous meeting, Terry Vos and Michael Filip requested a $6,500 grant from the Township for the Chamber to bring back many of their regular events and a loan of up to $31,000 to help with economic growth.

“If we’re not successful [at getting Township funding], we will have to relook at the Chamber’s involvement and organization in Scugog. We have cut our costs down in the last two years to keep our head above water. But we’re not prepared to work under a situation where we cannot be successful and self-supporting,” Terry Vos told members of Scugog Council at the time.

Following Council’s decision, Scugog Chamber executives appeared pleased with the decision.

“We would like to say we are happy with the decision which was made in our favour at council yesterday, and we look forward to continuing our collaborative working relationship with the Township of Scugog,” read an emailed statement from the executive director Karey Anne Large.

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