Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Looking to Summer Amid COVID-19

Executive Director of the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce Mary Vilbon

YARMOUTH – Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce is focused on being a useful resource for Cape Cod businesses as the summer season approaches.

“We are all working hard. We are rallying. We are still trying to do everything we can to provide any of the resources we can for our businesses,” said Mary Vilbon, Executive Director for the Yarmouth Chamber of Commerce.

Vilbon said that the chamber’s offices are still open and that they are working full time on behalf of the business community to provide them with whatever resources they can.

“Sometimes it’s just a phone call to check in with the businesses and let them know that we are here for them. Making sure that they are seeing the communications that we’ve been sending out.”

Vilbon said that the pandemic is something that the chamber has never seen before, and that they are trying to be prepared on all fronts in terms of reopening safely in their plans for businesses.

They have been in contact with businesses through remote formats and Vilbon said that many are still waiting for more guidance from the state before making decisions on how to handle their openings.

“We want to make sure that we are here for the businesses, the residents, the second home owners, and the tourists when we are ready to have them back,” said Vilbon.

Businesses are waiting to see if the May 18 state of emergency date gets extended by Governor Charlie Baker and how their business models will change to adapt to life after the pandemic.

Vilbon said the Chamber itself is scaling back a lot of their events such as the Sand Sculpture Trail.

“We’ve just scaled it back, which is probably what we’re going to have to do with many of the things we typically do throughout the year,” said Vilbon.

Vilbon said that the chamber may have cancel some other events later in the season as they approach in order to be responsible and safe.

With Memorial Day weekend approaching, the usual approximate start date for Cape Cod’s summer economic season, Vilbon said that the Chamber is staying positive.

According to Vilbon, there are still some people who are making reservations on Cape, but that they are fewer in number than usual.

“We keep telling them to watch our website and continue to call us. We’ll keep them up to date. As soon as the Governor gives us the permission to start opening up, our local government will tell us what is allowed and what isn’t allowed, and we’ll be opening the doors as soon as we’re allowed to,” said Vilbon.

Vilbon advised that those businesses who are waiting on relief money should remain patient, as the forms may take some time to go through.

“Try to be patient. If you have your application in, they are working on processing those. Stay in communication with your lenders that you have applied through if you have questions.”

The residents within the community have also been of tremendous help to local businesses and organizations during the pandemic, said Vilbon.

“The stories are overwhelmingly positive. How people are contributing to the food banks, how they’re volunteering wherever they can. It’s just a true testament. Whenever something difficult happens, people step up,” said Vilbon.

She also asked that businesses and residents across the community look to their local Chambers of Commerce for more resources if they need them.

“All of our chambers across the Cape are working very hard. If you haven’t reached out to your local chamber, please do that. They’re there for you and want to help you in any way they possibly can.”

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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