By Carroll Solomon
The chamber ended the year with 86 members, including 20 new members. Our business of the year was Blaine Healing Arts Massage Therapy and former director Dr. Ron Spanjer, Blaine school district superintendent, was honored for his many years of service.
Our featured members of the month were: Phillips 66, Circle of Trees Homestead, Birch Bay Get Aways, Louis Auto Glass, Tony’s Just A Bite Diner, Blaine Artists Group, WFC-Ace, Blaine Senior Center, Reichardt and Ebe Engineering, Eagle Power Retreat House, Blaine Harbor Art Gallery and Touchstone Behavioral Health.
The chamber sponsored several of Blaine’s best attended festivals and events during the year including Bite of Blaine Food Fest and AGM, Spring Carnival, Blaine Gardener’s Market, An Old Fashioned Fourth of July (14,000 came out this year!), Art 2 Jazz Street Fair, Drayton Harbor Days Maritime Festival, Bountiful Harvest Festival and Scarecrow Tour and the Holiday Harbor Lights and Tree Lighting.
The chamber also partnered in other events such as The Treaty of Ghent Anniversary Ceremony, Wings Over Water Birding Festival, Springfest Art Tour, International Art & Music Festival, Drayton Harbor Music Festival and Holiday Art Market. In addition, the chamber helped to sponsor the canoe family celebration, Blaine Splash Days and the opening of the Marine Park Playground.
In August the chamber organized a workshop for downtown businesses where various issues were discussed including directional signage, derelict properties, retail advertising kiosks, etc., and recommendations were made to city planning officials. The chamber continued to be represented at economic development meetings and participated in The Whatcom Business Alliance fall trade show in October.
In 2016 the chamber will continue to recognize the efforts of local businesses and encourage economic development in our community.