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Ocean Community Chamber Foundation distributes almost $19,000 to small businesses

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The Ocean Community Chamber Foundation One Fund has announced that it distributed almost $19,000 to help 23 local small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

Chamber and foundation President Lisa Konicki said chamber staff, working at 50% capacity, held various fundraisers and was the only chamber in Connecticut and Rhode Island to distribute COVID-19 grants to small businesses.

She said small businesses received checks ranging from $409 to $659 and many included a one-year membership to the chamber. She said special thanks go to Chelsea Groton Bank, The Andrea hotel, Royce Family Fund, Washington Trust Co. and Lathrop Insurance for their leadership gifts.

Konicki said the campaign to support small business through gift certificates sales raised $34,650, more than twice what it did in 2019.

“It was the darkest economic period of our lifetimes and yet we DOUBLED our results and sales to help support small businesses,” she wrote in the announcement.

Konicki said that while some business organizations shut down this spring but continued to communicate with their members, the Ocean Community Chamber was designated by the Town of Westerly as an essential operation and stayed open. She said the chamber participated in every weekly town news conference, remained fully functional and worked seven days a week.

Editor's Note: This version corrects the amount of gift certificate sales and corrects a statement that other business organizations continued to communicate with their members while their offices were shut down.

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