Local Food & Beverage Tax revenues dropped 19% in 2020, according to a recently released annual report.
The 1% tax has been collected countywide since 2018. In 2020, nearly $2.8 million was collected, a drop of about $650,000 compared to 2019.
Read the full report here.
The following press release was issued by the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce to oppose the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 regarding homeless encampments:
Based on overwhelming feedback from members, the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposes the proposed Bloomington Council Ordinance 21-06 that would allow encampments in public parks for extended periods.
“Over the past year we’ve heard increasing complaints and deep concerns voiced by members of the business community regarding encampments at Seminary Park and elsewhere,” said Erin Predmore, the Chamber’s president and CEO. “We must find an alternative way to support the needs of houseless residents that does not negatively impact local businesses, the jobs they provide, and the broader community.”
Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, has been named president of the Crane Regional Defense Group board.
The CRDG is a citizen-led committee established through partnerships between chambers of commerce, county councils, financial institutions and local business leaders, and championed by the Southern Indiana Business Alliance (SIBA). It is a subcommittee of the White River Military Coordination Alliance, was established in 2020 as a grassroots effort to expand community support and advocate for Crane at the local and federal level.
Click here to learn more about the Crane Regional Defense Group.
The Bloomington City Council is considering an ordinance that would allow homeless residents to camp in public parks, under certain conditions. You can read the ordinance here.
We need your feedback! Please share your views in this brief survey
The Council's Committee of the Whole will discuss it on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. There will be opportunity for public commentary. Depending on their action, it could be considered for a final vote on March 3. If you prefer to contact councilmembers directly, find their contact information here.
Click here to take the survey. Thank you for helping us shape our advocacy efforts on this issue.
In a Dec. 6 article in the Indiana Daily student, Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, stressed the importance of shopping locally for the holidays to support Bloomington/Monroe County businesses.
Premore also highlighted the Chamber's Holiday Gift Guide, which provides dozens of suggestions for shopping local.
Read the IDS article here.
Monroe County Commissioners have approved a new program to reimburse businesses and nonprofits for COVID-related expenses and increased the eligible reimbursements to $30,000. The previous cap was $20,000.
The previous reimbursement program, which covered non-payroll COVID-related expenses, was slated to end on Nov. 30 and was part of the federal CARES Act. At their Dec. 2 meeting, commissioners voted to create a similar program funded from $4.7 million that the county received from the CARES Act.
Click here for the reimbursement application form.
Chamber CEO Erin Predmore addressed the impact of COVID-19 on the local business community during a Nov. 27 Noon Edition on WFIU. The segment also featured Jeff Meese of One World Enterprises and Efrat Feferman of the Monroe County United Way.
Predmore talked about efforts to support local businesses, including the Chamber's online holiday gift guide, which spotlights more than 100 shops and other businesses.
Click here to listen.
Staff from Bloomington's Economic & Sustainable Development Department updated City Council at their Nov. 4 meeting about the status of the Rapid Response Fund loan program.
To date, 62 loans have been granted totaling $1,760,770 using funds from both Food & Beverage Tax revenues and the Bloomington Urban Enterprise Association (BUEA). The loans are intended to help local businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chamber CEO Erin Predmore serves on the city's Economic Stabilization & Recovery Working Group, which oversees the Rapid Response Fund. Mary Morgan, the Chamber's Director of Advocacy & Public Policy, serves on the BUEA board.
Click here to read the staff memo on the Rapid Response Fund update.
Click here to watch a recording of the Nov. 4 presentation to council.
During a weekly joint press conference on Friday afternoon, Mayor John Hamilton announced plans to close sections of Kirkwood to vehicular traffic 24/7 through the end of the year. Those sections are between Dunn and Grant, and from Washington to Walnut. The block between Indiana and Dunn will be closed weekends only. North/south cross streets will remain open.
Since this summer, sections of Kirkwood have been closed from Thursday through Sunday to allow restaurants to set up tables for customers in the street. It allows for additional seating with distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Some restaurant owners have been advocating to keep the closing throughout the week so that they can set up tents with heaters during inclement weather.
Erin Predmore, CEO of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, was a guest on the Oct. 16, 2020 WFIU Noon Edition, focused on how COVD-related festival cancellations are impacting southern Indiana.
Other panelists were Judy Epp, Spencer Pride fundraising director; Diana Choate, Monroe County Fall Festival president; and Elaine Bedel, Indiana Destination and Development Corporation secretary and CEO.
Click here to listen to a recording of the discussion. Read the WFIU report: "Bloomington Chamber CEO Talks Effects of Local Event Cancellations."
Director of Advocacy & Public Policy