The Redding Chamber of Commerce recognizes that there is a lot of pain and anxiety growing in the local business community and we are working with the City of Redding and Redding Electric Utility (REU) to provide much-needed economic relief.
In addition to residential electric rates that are lower than the state average, REU, as a community-owned utility, presents opportunities to further help ratepayers during this time of crisis.
The Redding Chamber of Commerce supports REU’s decision to discontinue all utility shut-offs as of March 18th as well as a temporary moratorium on late fees.
According to Redding City Manager Barry Tippin, “Electricity is an expensive commodity and a difficult monthly expense for many, however, REU rates today are the same as they were in 2014.”
The Chamber thinks the longer we can keep electric rates at bay, the better, which is why we recently worked hard to encourage members of the City Council to make an important “accounting shift” in a decision led by Mayor Adam McElvain to give $2.2 million back to the ratepayers in the form of a $50 credit on all REU accounts. Through the Chamber’s advocacy efforts, the Council directed staff to draw those funds from Cap and Trade auction proceeds rather than REU reserves. According to City staff, this move will help to prevent the necessity of a rate increase in the near future.
Mayor McElvain had this to say about the significant role the Chamber is playing at this crucial time:
“In times of great uncertainty, like we are seeing now, we need our Chamber of Commerce more than ever. We truly appreciate the Chamber’s support of City efforts to provide direct relief to our citizens and businesses. Our local solutions will have a significant impact on our recovery, and Jake has done a tremendous job at keeping the business community informed and linking them to resources. Working together now, with a unified goal, will result in the best possible outcome for our business community and quality of life. We need to do everything we can to help our local businesses get through this hump, and then get everyone back to work, and we cannot do that without the strong support of our Chamber of Commerce.”
The Chamber is currently working on behalf of local business with City officials on a more robust local stimulus package that will likely include additional financial assistance to residential, commercial, and industrial ratepayers at a time when help is greatly needed. The Chamber is working closely with the City of Redding and REU to ensure that the options presented will provide significant relief to the business community.
Options will be presented by the City of Redding staff at the City Council meeting on April 21st. Though public attendance is not allowed in person due to social distancing requirements, you can still follow along online and submit public comments in advance by clicking the link HERE.
We are particularly interested in what your thoughts are regarding local assistance from REU and the City of Redding at this time. Please let us know what is on your mind as we are working with the Redding City Council and City staff as an advocate for business at this time.