From the Chamber: A season of giving thanks and other 2020 observations, Part 1

In my 20s, I had years that were indistinguishable from one another – for example 2005 and 2006. I’m sure 2005 and 2006 saw significant life changing events happening, but if someone says to me today, “What about 2006? ”Nothing comes to mind immediately. We all have years like this in our past – when you may have gotten a year older but are not sure that growth has occurred.

Conversely, we all have years that none of us forgets, for example 2001. Some years are so indelible that they only make us react by mentioning them. 2020 is one of those years.

I don’t think we’ll be saying in a decade, “2020 … which was that again?” We don’t even need the five years normally required to look back at its influence and truly assess its weight – we now know. 2020 is difficult. Even in the middle of it all, it’s without question one of the most challenging, bizarre, and unique years I can remember.

In the next few columns, we will cover a 2020 summary. Some really great things happened this year, but our memories have been consumed by all that 2020 has become. We’ll look at the good things of the past year, as well as adjusting other programs for 2021 and a possible schedule for the events of 2021.

This week, however, I don’t want to go back, I want to stay in the present and keep you updated on some things that are just happening (and some things not to be missed). Let’s start with the great news from the Midcoast Tree Auction, which closed on Saturday night.

Midcoast Tree Auction brings in $ 13,000

In this very tumultuous year, with most people’s discretionary spending limited, Meals on Wheels (Spectrum Generations), All Saints Parish (St. John’s) and SMMC (our Chamber) are excited to announce that we are after the Midcoast Tree Auction raised spending of around US $ 13,000. Given the times we are in, this is incredible support from our communities and businesses. Many Thanks!

Even more incredible is the number of companies that supported their colleagues through themselves this year. Well over half of the auction lots consisted of gifts from companies other than the donor. We’ll have the final numbers in a couple of weeks, but we know that the auction was worth over $ 20,000. That said, this event helped support thousands of dollars in purchases for local businesses that otherwise might not have happened. This is important.

Look for a full breakdown when we do our December roundup in Part 3 of this series.

The most important company survey of the year

“Q7. Do you have the number of employees you need or do you need more? Q10. What percentage of your new hires have the education / experience / skills you would expect from a typical hiring? Q12. Given your expected earnings over the next 12 months given the current business climate, how much additional funding would you need to be sure that your business will be open a year from today?

“Q15. Please select up to three of the following as your top business needs in the next 3-6 months that you are open:

“Q33. Which of the following statements describes how you feel about the Maine business climate 12 months from today? Optimistic, pessimistic, insecure. “

These are just a selection of the relevant business questions in the 2021 Moving Forward Business Survey, which runs through December 23 at 5:00 p.m. While this is a survey most people would like to take, we are only asking business owners / managers to take it. The results will be quantified and a full report will be produced for future state legislation so that this information can be used to shape policy in the upcoming session.

The survey is the joint effort of the Maine Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (MACCE), the Maine State Chamber, and the Maine Tourism Association. Please take 20 minutes to answer the 30 questions and six categorization questions. You can find the survey on the SMMC homepage ( Finally, don’t let the length put you off, because 20 of the 30 questions are reflexively simple answers. The other 10 are a little worried but are all the answers a business owner or senior manager would have. It takes relatively little time to produce an accurate report of business information, straight from the mouth of the business owner, to our government leaders.

Fix your tax problems now!

Here is one of those memories that I try to erase every year. Most people don’t think about taxes until February or March, but as my CPA friends tell me, there is nothing you can do to change the 2020 tax year results if you don’t start looking at these things until 2021. So, if you’ve bought a home, changed jobs, moved, had a kid, or other life changing events, meeting with a CPA in the final weeks of 2020 is a great way to find out what you need to do now to be better to become your tax situation.

Thank you Cornerstone members Priority Real Estate Group, Mid Coast-Parkview Health, REMAX / Riverside, Badesparkasse, Riley Insurance, Barnard Financial and Sitelines are the Cornerstone members of Chambers 2020, which means that they have sponsored everything our Chamber has did in 2020. In a year like 2020, without your tremendous support, our chamber would not reach the capacity it has. These companies support dozens of community initiatives annually, not just the Chamber, but I wanted to take a moment and tell them on file how much I am personally grateful for your support to our organization and our communities. I couldn’t do it without you

Next week we’re going to dive into the first part of our 2020 annual review, so don’t miss out!

Cory King is the executive director of the Southern Midcoast Maine Chamber.

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