SPRINGFIELD — The lingering COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt the Effingham County Chamber of Commerce’s plans.
Usually at this time of year, the chamber’s full attention would be on Effingham Day at the Capitol — its “signature event.”
“Obviously, we would be ramping up for that right now but that is something that we have to put aside,” Andy Cripps, CEO of the chamber, said during Thursday’s meeting of the Effingham County Industrial Development Authority.”
During Effingham Day at Capitol, chamber members and local government leaders visit legislators and other state officials to discuss issues that impact Effingham County.
“We have talked about doing something maybe after the (legislative) session here in Effingham County but, still, in-person events aren’t (worth the risk),” Cripps said. “We have the CEO of (Effingham Health System) on our board (Dr. Fran Witt) so we are very conscious in our discussion about not putting people in situations where they might spread the disease.”
Another prime annual chamber event, A Night in Effingham, has also been postponed. It features live entertainment and a chance to sample menu items from local restaurants.
“We will probably be pushing that into June,” Cripps said.
Cripps told the IDA board that chamber membership grew last year.
“I think that’s quite an accomplishment given COVID-19 — even though this county has come through it very well,” he said. “We had a flurry of ribbon cuttings toward the end of the year.”
The chamber has instituted a tiered membership system that allows businesses to purchase the “benefits package” that suits them best.”