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By John Alpay, San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce Chairman

We are living through unique and challenging economic times, thanks to COVID-19.  Local businesses are struggling, with many wondering how they will remain viable as a going concern.  Uncertainty and stress abound. But in a continuing effort to advocate and support local businesses, the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce remains hard at work. Please email us at info@sanjuanchamber.com to be included in our email distribution list.

The Chamber is in direct contact with the Small Business Administration, US Chamber of Commerce, US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and other organizations, receiving regular updates on business assistance programs and their changing requirements. We have increased our membership outreach to keep members informed of these programs, including the Federal Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan, as well as California’s Disaster Relief Loan Guarantee Program. 

We are also utilizing all existing relationships at all levels of business and government to support our business community. Last week, we assisted a local bank in connecting them with the Small Business Administration to secure authorized lender status for Federal assistance programs. 

And taking things one step further, active Chamber members have supported our community in other ways. The Chamber partnered with other local organizations and concerned citizens to create what is now known as the Crisis Kitchen Coalition. Initially serving a thousand meals per weekend, the Coalition is now serving 7,500 meals per weekend to assist those in need. 

These selfless acts show the nature and purpose of the Chamber: to not only serve local businesses but the community at large. It is in this spirit that the Chamber has supported not only its membership, but any business needing assistance. 

To emphasize the point and exhibit the Chamber’s commitment, we are immediately suspending all billing and collection efforts for 2020 membership dues. In addition, any non-member businesses seeking access to our communications and resources can now join the Chamber for 2020 with no upfront cost.   

For any non-member businesses that wish to join or simply want some help, please call 949.493.4700 or email info@sanjuanchamber.com. We are here to serve, and no one will be denied or turned away.       

John Alpay is the Chairman of the Board for the San Juan Capistrano Chamber of Commerce.

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