From The Ground Up – Feb 4th 2016

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Good Afternoon Chamber Members –
Many thanks to all who attended our Strategic Planning meeting last week.  We were very happy with the questions and feedback from the meeting and the support for the presented fee increase.  We appreciate the unanimous support to move forward with the fee increase, both at the meeting and through online voting.  We have lots of new information to share with our members and you will see additional information in the coming weeks.  We look forward to discussing the changes and priorities with you.   Some updates include: Volunteers Needed – The success of our strategic plan is based on our ability to work with committed volunteers who wish to contribute to the Chamber’s goals.  Click Here to find out more about the volunteer opportunities at the Chamber.

Gravenhurstchamber.com – Visit our new website and let us know what you think.  Launching a new website is a big project, one area that we cannot afford to discount is our membership directory.  We hope to have our enhanced directory launched by early next week allowing visitors to search by categories, keywords, business and owner information.

Logo – To accompany our fresh new online presence, we have updated our logo to represent the progressive focus of our organization.

Online Marketing – Emphasis will be placed on increasing our online presence ensuring content is originated from our websites gravenhurstchamber.com and experiencegravenhurst.com.  Social media, mail chimp and third party websites will be used to share the information that will start from our home sites.

You will notice that From The Ground Up will be transforming over the next couple of editions, with highlights being featured in the newsletter but gradually encouraging newsletter subscribers to visit gravenhurstchamber.com and experiencegravenhurst.com for your up-to-date source for information. As with most business owners, we are committed to ensuring we have a more robust online appearance but understand the learning curve involved.  Is increasing online presence a priority or goal for your business this year?  We would love to discuss with you and share ideas, resources and options for improvement.  I have learned that growth is gradual and setting up a series of smaller goals and a timeline is often the best way to start a large project.

We look forward to seeing you at all the upcoming Winter Carnival Activities.

Have a great week –
– Danielle

Read This Week’s From The Ground Up Click Here

 

NEW Muskoka Maple Festival + Trail Coming this Spring! – Opportunity for MTMA Members

Muskoka Tourism is partnering with the Huntsville / Lake of Bays Chamber of Commerce to create a brand new attraction and festival. The Muskoka Maple Festival and Trail will encourage tourism to Muskoka during the shoulder season, and raise receipts for local businesses. The partnership consists of two components:

Muskoka Maple Trail – (Mid March to April 23) – Use the maple harvest to encourage visitation to Muskoka. This is a pan-Muskoka initiative.

Muskoka Maple Festival – (April 23) – Weekend event in Huntsville encouraging visitation and shop local initiatives.

Muskoka Maple Trail – Opportunity for MTMA Members

Muskoka Tourism will be developing a ‘Muskoka Maple Trail’ that will run from mid March to April 23. The purpose of the trail is to utilize Maple, a great asset in Muskoka, to attract visitation to your place of business. The trail will feature maple experiences that tourists can select, building a ‘maple itinerary’ for a weekend getaway. Here is an example of itinerary that might be built:

  • Stay at a local accommodation under their ‘Maple Package’ – package includes overnight accommodation and a maple gift basket (a bottle of maple syrup, maple beer from local brewery, and a package of maple coffee from Muskoka Roastery). If you have a restaurant on site, perhaps your package includes a pancake breakfast for two. These are just suggestions, but you have the ability to get creative! The opportunities are endless!
  • Stop in at the Muskoka Roastery to sample their Muskoka Maple coffee, with a splash of Muskoka maple syrup in it!
  • Visit a local sugar shack to meet the producer and get a tour
  • Eat dinner at a local restaurant that has a maple inspired dinner menu – Maple glazed salmon with maple cheesecake sound delicious!
  • Purchase maple butter tarts from a local bakery before heading back to the city

If you are interested in being featured on the trail, please let Muskoka Tourism know ASAP. The cost to participate is $150. This is an excellent marketing opportunity for you to increase business during the shoulder season. They expect the trail to have 10,000 views over the course of the campaign.

Muskoka Maple Festival – Opportunity for MTMA Members

The Muskoka Maple Festival will be held in Huntsville on April 23. The grand finale of the harvest, the festival will feature a pancake breakfast, maple product vendors, craft vendors, antique vendors, food vendors, live fiddling music, as well as other heritage themed programming.

There are so many ways for you to get involved in the Maple Festival. If you have an idea that is not featured in our Get Involved Guide, let us know. We can work with you to create your vision.

Some of the opportunities to get involved in the Festival are:

  • Maple Vendor and Craft Fair
  • Antique Market
  • Create a Maple-Themed Meal
  • Create a Maple-themed Event
  • Pancake Breakfast

 If you are interested in getting involved in any way, please let us know ASAP. This will be a great community event, and we need the community to make it a success!

Click here to see the Get Involved Guide

Experience Gravenhurst Map ‘Media Kit’ is Ready!

The Experience Gravenhurst Map Media Kit is ready for distribution!  We are thrilled to be offering a new and innovative publication this year, connecting a handbook & map together as one complete guide to all Gravenhurst has to offer.  The Experience Gravenhurst Map will showcase the Gravenhurst Municipality as a whole, and will allow it’s readers to search through a handbook connected to the front, to delve into things to do and see, where to stay and eat, local services etc.

The reason for this change is that, for the first time ever, Muskoka Chambers of Commerce and Muskoka Tourism have partnered to create one collaborative and progressive Muskoka Visitor Guide, combining existing individual Town Guides, and creating a new perception of how Muskoka is presented to the world.  This Muskoka Visitor Guide will feature Gravenhurst alongside other Towns, and will act as a tourism economic driver, encouraging visitors to our area.  From there, we will ensure guests have what they need with the Experience Gravenhurst Map to have the best experience they can while they’re here in our beautiful and exuberant Town.

The Experience Gravenhurst Map will continue to be distributed throughout Ontario, including Ontario Tourism, Travel Information Centres, CAA and AAA Travel Centres etc, with a local distribution every other week.  And NEW this year is the option to have an Online presence!  Our brand new www.experiencegravenhurst.com website will be the driving force behind this publication and for the first time ever, we’re offing FREE online advertisements with every 1/2 page or bigger booked, with FREE ad creation – you can’t beat that!  In fact, ALL ad creation continues to be FREE with your booked ad space, regardless of size.

Our pricing structure has also changed to make things much more streamlined.  We’re offering one price for each size of advertisement, and it’s your choice which part of the Experience Gravenhurst Map you’d like to be in.  It’s as simple as that!

We are everywhere your best prospects are…and as an advertiser in The Experience Gravenhurst Map, you can rest easy knowing that your business is in front of Gravenhurst’s visitors, seasonal & local residents, and guests.

To book your space today, email or call Tara Doyle at marketing@gravenhurstchamber.com or 705-687-4432.

For the complete Media Kit with pricing and sizes click below!
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Members Meeting

Members Meeting

Join us for a Members meeting taking place January 27th from 5:00pm – 6:30pm at the Gravenhurst Opera House, Trillium Court.

The meeting will present the Chamber’s Strategic Plan, outline the organization’s priorities and present the financial forecast to support the plan. In support of the Strategic Plan, the Gravenhurst Chamber Board of Directors will present a motion to increase membership fees aligning the Chamber’s fees with other regional Chambers and supporting the growth outlined in the Strategic Plan.

Agenda
5:00 pm – 5:05 pm Welcome and Introductions
5:05 pm – 5:25 pm Strategic Plan Overview
5:25 pm – 5:35 pm Membership Fee Increase Presentation
5:35 pm – 5:50 pm Questions
5:50 pm – 6:00 pm Vote on Membership Fee Increase
6:00 pm – 6:30 pm Social Reception

Details & Resources
In Spring 2015, the Chamber surveyed members and stakeholders, over 70 guests took part in a Chamber Service Review at the AGM, 120 responses were collected from an online survey and over 20 individual interviews were conducted to obtain information on member priorities.  Click Here to view the Chamber Service Review Survey Results.

Through the summer the Chamber staff, drafted a Strategic Plan which was discussed and reviewed by the Chamber Board of Directors at three planning sessions.  In November, the Chamber of Commerce’s Strategic Plan was approved by the board and outlines the priorities, goals and initiatives for the next five years.  Click Here to view the Strategic Plan.

Proposed Fee Increase
The Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted to present a motion to increase Chamber Membership fees in 2016.  The support for the fee increase will allow the Chamber to secure funds to support the expanded location, implement the strategic plan and align the membership rates with neighbouring communities.

The Proposed 2016 Membership Rates:
– $100 Independent Citizen Member
– $130 Not for Profit Member
– $180 Sole Proprietorship Member
– $230 3+ Employees Business Member
– $100 Secondary Business, Same Owner Member

Voting: Each business will receive one vote.  Organizations will need to designate a voting representative.

For members unable to attend the meeting, proxy voting will be accepted.  The Proposed Fee Increase presentation will be distributed by email to members at least 24 Hours prior to the meeting.  Proxy voting will be available via online form from January 27th at 9:00am to January 28th at 5:00pm.

For questions or comments, please contact Executive Director Danielle Millar,705-687-4432 x105 or manager@gravenhurstchamber.com.

From The Ground Up

Friends, Gravenhurstians, Community Members,

Lend Me Your Eyes!

I’m not going to write about the upcoming Gravenhurst Car Show. You should already know about the 500 cars in attendance, live entertainment, great vendors, food & music lounge, and so much more happening on the shores of Gull Lake on June 20th. What I am going to write about is our hot-off-the-press Experience Gravenhurst Guide & Map.

We’ve been travelling throughout Gravenhurst and the surrounding area dropping off our Experience Gravenhurst Guides and Maps. These things are packed full of useful details on things to do, what to eat, and where to stay. These publications are not only useful to those making the right choice in visiting our Town, but for temporary and full-time residents as well!

To make sure you get Experience Gravenhurst copies delivered to your business, click here! You can also use this form to order more should you run out.

That’s all from me. Until Next Time,
Jacob