By Carroll Solomon
2016 was the Blaine Chamber’s 125th year! Hooray!
We ended this year with 88 members, including 12 new members. Our “Business of the Year” was Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2.
Our featured “Members of the Month” for 2016 were: Mara Isabel Spa, NW Cascades, Vwich Farmers Insurance Agency, Semiahmoo Marina, The UPS Store, Fabian Saul Realtor, Day to Day Dance, AMS Print & Mail, Let’s Move Blaine, North Bay Christ The King Church, Washi Arts and Pogozone Internet.
Our board members this year were: Bob Boule (Smugglers Inn), Laura Hedges (Blaine Healing Arts), Kimberli Shea (Umpqua Bank), Carroll Solomon (Blaine Visitor Center), Kimberly Akre (Pacific Building Center), Louise Mugar (The Northern Light), Ray Maxon (CHS NW – Ace), Heidi Holmes (Blaine-Birch Bay Park and Recreation District 2) and Brenda Berkan (Semiahmoo Resort).
The chamber proudly sponsors some of Blaine’s largest festivals including the Old Fashioned Fourth of July, Art 2 Jazz Street Fair, Drayton Harbor Days & Tall Ships, Scarecrow Exhibit and Holiday Harbor Lights Tree Lighting.
Bite of Blaine Food Fest is our annual fundraiser and annual general meeting, which raised more than $13,000 for our July 4 fireworks show.
The chamber also partners in almost all the other local events such as Wings Over Water Birding Festival, International Art & Music Festival, Springfest Art Tour, Drayton Harbor Music Festival, Splash Days, Chalk Art Festival and Oktoberfest.
We sponsored a business workshop for Blaine merchants on signage and other downtown issues, a business seminar on digital marketing and also participated with the city of Blaine in a Google training program and the Whatcom Business Alliance Business Expo.
We are looking forward to great things for our business community in 2017 and will continue to support and encourage our economic future.