South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce using leftover Balloon Fest funds to support local businesses

By Jessica Vaughn
Posted 7/27/20

FOLEY - The City of Foley approved in July to allow the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce to use leftover funds from the 2020 Hot Air Balloon Festival towards programs to support local …

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South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce using leftover Balloon Fest funds to support local businesses

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FOLEY - The City of Foley approved in July to allow the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce to use leftover funds from the 2020 Hot Air Balloon Festival towards programs to support local businesses.

“The city provides financial support to the chamber for the annual Balloon Festival,” said Mike Thompson, city administrator. “They had spent a little over $18,000 of that money in preparation for the Balloon Festival when COVID-19 hit, and they since made the decision that they’re not going to be able to hold the festival this year. What is before you today is to reimburse them for the expenses that they had already spent and then allow them to use the balance for some programs that they’re putting together in support of our local businesses from a COVID-19 perspective.”

The performance contract between the South Baldwin Chamber and Foley is $50,000 to be put towards a successful event each year, an event that brings visitors to the City of Foley and financially benefits the business community and the citizens.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the South Baldwin Chamber has turned its attention towards assisting the local business community “survive and learn how to prosper during this unusual time.”

The South Baldwin Chamber is supporting the Alabama Restaurant + Hospitality PROMISE within the community. PROMISE was created through a partnership between Alabama’s hospitality businesses, healthcare experts, and educational institutions, and is a program designed to ensure the safety, health, and happiness of each guest through employee education and certification.

According to a letter submitted to the city from the South Baldwin Chamber: “This program and Promise will require individual operations to educate and certify their staff, make efforts to display their new policies and procedures in their store fronts, lobbies, dining rooms, and online, to engage in continual efforts to keep their operations and employees aligned with these protocols, and develop new methods for distant or contactless customer exchanges when feasible.”

The money provided by the City of Foley will be used in assisting with the costs associated with labor, materials, supplies and staff cost for the program.