On Tuesday Jan 22 at a regular session of Carleton Place Council’s Committee of the Whole, Chamber of Commerce board chair, Jaimie Law provided a review of his organizations past year’s events and achievements. He also touched on new initiatives and made a request for a 2% increase in the town’s funding over last year.
Carleton Place’s Chamber of Commerce has 255 member businesses and Law remarked that one of their main goals was to increase tourism. He mentioned that in the Ontario Highlands region (which contains our area), tourism brought in $600M last year with a quarter of all visitors spending time in Lanark County and bringing in over $50M to local economies. One of the Chamber’s primary initiatives, the visitor info centre (located in the Moore log building on Bridge St) operates 7 days a week, year round. It welcomed over 2000 visitors in 2018 with many coming for community events and day trips.
One of their newest projects is a snow-shoe rental program that just launched. The rates are $5 per pair for a 4 hour stint or $10 for a full day. Staff expects to direct users to Roy Brown or Oak-kee-lee Park to enjoy the great outdoors.
Law stated that popular events supported by the Chamber last year will continue. The list includes favourites such as the Santa Claus Parade, Comic Book Day, Wine’d Around Downtown, 12 Days of Christmas and more. New for 2019 will be events such as Sam Bat Invitational Softball Tourney, Sip and Savour Lanark County, Rent-a-rod fishing promotion, and special focuses on local breweries and restaurants among others.
After the presentation, Mayor Doug Black thanked the Chamber for their dedication to local businesses and encouraged everyone to attend any of their events. He noted that their meetings and networking sessions were always upbeat and positive and could turn a bad day around quite quickly. Last year the town forwarded $43,999 to the Chamber (according to Chamber staff) and a 2% increase would bring that total to $44879. The town will be reviewing budget plans in upcoming meetings.