Armstrong-Spallumcheen not-for-profit groups and organizations have indicated to the local chamber of commerce through a survey that they’ve been severely impacted by the pandemic. (Morning Star file photo)

Armstrong-Spallumcheen not-for-profit groups and organizations have indicated to the local chamber of commerce through a survey that they’ve been severely impacted by the pandemic. (Morning Star file photo)

Armstrong, Spallumcheen non-profits try to ride out pandemic

Survey conducted by local chamber shows quite a few groups impacted by COVID-19

Anxiety for the survival of not-for-profit groups and organizations in Armstrong and Spallumcheen through the pandemic is growing.

The Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to both City of Armstrong and Township of Spallumcheen councils giving the results of a survey they conducted with local not-for-profits. The chamber asked how COVID-19 has impacted their operations since April 2020, including their financial support of community services.

“We are deeply concerned about the impact COVID-19 has had on our not-for-profits and churches,” said presenter Patti Noonan, executive director of the Armstrong Spallumcheen chamber. “The financial loss is more than anyone could have expected.”

The chamber heard from 28 organizations that primarily operate in Armstrong and Spallumcheen, including service organizations and churches who contribute to the quality of life in the city and township through volunteer opportunities and contributions back to the community.

Noonan said not-for-profits suffered a 95.9 per cent revenue drop from 2019 to 2020. Revenue for the groups pre-pandemic totalled nearly $2.9 million, but that dwindled to $118,619 in 2020.

In 2019, respondents returned more than $600,000 to the community. That dipped to $329,545 in 2020 and, in 2021, the estimated amount going back to the community is less than $75,000.

The cash value of volunteer contributions was just short of $733,000 in 2019, compared to $232,000 in 2020.

The chamber will continue to work with the groups and help them navigate federal and provincial funding opportunities.

“The chamber has supported the use of staff resources to do this, including filling out applications, printing packages and writing support letters,” said Noonan. “They will be included in upcoming marketing and promotion pieces we are developing.”

READ MORE: Armstrong Spallumcheen chamber elects new board

READ MORE: COVID-19 cancels 2 main Armstrong-Spallumcheen events

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