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The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce furloughed nearly half of its staff amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Chamber President Matt Morrow said 12 of the organization's 28 employees have been temporarily impacted by the decision.
"Understandably, this was a difficult decision, but also one that many of our chamber members are grappling with on a daily basis," Morrow said in an emailed statement. "Our community’s efforts to flatten the infection curve of COVID-19, while so important to combat this illness effectively for the good of public health, have also significantly impacted employers who provide jobs for our families and fuel the economic growth of the Springfield region.
"We remain focused on connecting businesses with the resources they need to survive this crisis and advocating for the solutions they need to recover and thrive."
Morrow said chambers of commerce are not eligible for forgivable federal loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Queen City chamber ranked No. 1 on Springfield Business Journal's list last year of the area's largest chambers of commerce, published in December. The chamber reported 1,550 members and a 2019 budget of roughly $3.3 million.
The first downtown Springfield branch for Arvest Bank opened; a longtime licensed massage therapist became a first-time business owner; and 7 Brew Coffee opened its fourth shop in Springfield.