Chamber now run by Sugar House Community CouncilApr 12, 2021 10h25 ● By Daniel Smith
one of the Community Council’s primary objectives is to maintain Sugar House’s longstanding commitment to keeping things local.
By Daniel Smith | [email protected]
In 2020, the Sugar House Community Council took on the responsibilities of the Sugar House Chamber.
In a statement on the Council’s website, Council Chair Landon Clark wrote: “The Mission of the Sugar House Community Council is to involve citizens in identifying issues, plans, and projects that enhance the beauty, safety, vibrancy, and human-scale character of Sugar House neighborhoods, and its businesses, historical, and natural resources.”
Clark said that one of the Community Council’s primary objectives is to maintain Sugar House’s longstanding commitment to keeping things local. Not only have recent housing developments threatened to shoulder out small, local businesses, but the COVID-19 pandemic forced many of these businesses to temporarily close, and, upon reopening, to drastically alter their business models. Sugar House has consequently seen a decline in the number of local businesses.
“They’re still around,” Clark said, “but we would really hate to lose more of them.”
Although the Community Council only recently assumed the responsibilities of the Chamber, they have already taken action to mitigate the losses suffered by small businesses over the course of the last year. One such action is an ongoing series of videos titled, “The Sugar House Strong Video Stories,” which highlights businesses in the Sugar House area. This video series is part of what Clark said is the Council’s attempt to bring about a “new direction, new vision for how to help these businesses.” Spearheaded by local realtor, writer, Community Council Trustee, and Chamber Co-Chair, Erika Wiggins, the videos provide a platform for local business owners to showcase their businesses, let the public know how they were impacted by the pandemic, and what measures they took to ensure their customers’ safety.
In taking on the responsibilities of the Chamber, the Community Council has set a new course of involvement in Sugar House’s local community. Clark’s vision for the Council includes working with new developers in a novel way to ensure that local businesses are represented. The details of this plan will soon be announced by the Community Council.
The Council’s efforts to help the Sugar House community recover from the pandemic extend beyond local businesses. “[The Community Council is] also looking to bring back events, the sort of community building stuff that was taken away from us because of COVID, such as the arts festival,” Clark said.
The Council also has plans to expand their operation in the upcoming months. Currently composed of a group of volunteers, the Council hopes to transition to a different pay structure by early 2022 to include paid members. “We know we can’t rely on volunteers forever,” Clark said.
For more information concerning the Sugar House Community Council’s efforts and to watch the “Sugar House Strong Video Stories,” visit sugarhousecouncil.org.