CAPC revenue falls short by $150K during pandemic
By Samantha Jones
The Eureka Springs City Advertising and Promotion Commission saw its revenue fall $150,081 below projections during the COVID-19 pandemic, but finance director Rick Bright said he expects tax collections to pick back up over the next few months.
According to the monthly collection report, the commission had a shortfall of $99,140 in May. Bright said the commission’s shortfall in April was $50,941, bringing the total loss to $150,081. The commission voted May 27 to reduce expenses by $390,600, with $139,000 cut from special events, $78,800 from media, $3,000 from production, $15,000 from group travel, $50,400 from the Aud and $87,400 from office expenses.
The commission has projected a revenue shortfall of $500,000, but Bright said he doesn’t think the commission will lose nearly that much now that tourism is picking up again.
“The economy is back in swing. Everybody’s busy,” Bright said. “Everybody’s buying stuff. Once we get past this month, I don’t see a problem with the rest of the year unless something new happens.”
Bright said the commission’s numbers were up by $20,000 in the first quarter of the year, saying the commission halted most of its advertising and all of its special events in March.
“We were having a great year the first three months. We were up all three months,” Bright said. “I think we’re going to get right back to that. This month will be short … but I think by July’s collections, we’ll be back in the saddle and hopefully be up, not down.”
Considering the budget cuts the commission has already made, Bright said, he expects to meet or exceed the budget by the end of the year. He hasn’t had to move any money from reserves yet, Bright said, and he doesn’t think he’ll have to.
“We’re still set good with cash,” Bright said. “Hopefully, we’ll never even have to get into the reserves. I really think we’re going to have a good rebound. We’ll be down for the year from our first budget, but I think we’ll be above the revised budget in our collections.”