Chamber Connections - Jan 30th
Dear Chamber Membership and the Community:

For the past four years, it has been my great privilege and honor to serve the membership, this community and this region as Executive Director of the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. It is somewhat bittersweet I realize the time has come to pass the baton onto the next Executive Director who will take the Chamber into the future.  As for me, I need to focus on my health, family and friends and begin writing the next chapter of my life. I will continue to assist the Board and staff through this transition as they search for a New Executive Director.

In my time as Director, I have come to realize the important and integral role this Chamber plays in promoting economic development in the Midcoast Region. It not only represents our robust tourism industry, it helps address local issues such as workforce education, affordable housing, business education and community outreach. Last year, the Chamber’s Visitor Center welcomed over 14,000 visitors who stayed in our hotels, dined in our restaurants, shopped in our stores and supported our local businesses. At the same time, the Chamber was working on a variety of issues impacting economic development in our community. This Chamber is only as strong as its membership and it depends upon the feedback and support of the business community. I encourage local businesses and organizations to continue to support the Chamber ensuring it has a healthy future and remains strong and viable for all.

We have accomplished so much together, and I am truly grateful to the many individuals and organizations who have helped the Chamber achieve a number of these goals.
 
Together we have brought focus to our vibrant arts community by showcasing the work of local artists at the Chamber’s Visitor Center and creating the Boothbay Region Sculpture Trail. The Sculpture Trail, now in its third year, consists of 24 sculptures from artists all over New England. It is the only walking sculpture trail in the State. As visitors follow the Trail, they are taken on a scenic walking tour around the harbor and the sculptures beyond the downtown corridor allow them to immerse themselves in the natural beauty and diversity of our Region. Last summer, several of the sculptors from the Maine Symposium entered their pieces into the Points of View Art Auction raising over $73,000 in sales to help benefit the Boothbay Region Land Trust. The Chamber also collaborated with the Boothbay Harbor Rotary Club, The Railway Village, Maine Stoneworkers Guild, Studio 53 Fine Arts Gallery and the Boothbay Region Art Foundation to co-sponsor a variety of events helping to support the art community and attract visitors to our Region.

During January 2017, the Chamber experienced a furnace blow back and the entire building needed to be gutted and rebuilt. Thanks to St. Andrews Village, the staff and I were able to set up shop in one of their vacant apartments. It took five months working with the insurance company, the claims adjusters and contractors, all in addition to this small staff’s daily duties. Just before Memorial Day we were able to move back into a brand-new Chamber building, one this community can be truly proud of. From my point of view, the greatest gift of this unfortunate tragedy was the ability to create one of the most attractive and welcoming Visitor Centers in the State. Visitors are always delightfully surprised when they walk through our doors. It feels like home.

Another goal we had was to bring the Chamber into the digital age with a new user-friendly website and a stronger focus on social media. We worked together with ReachMaine to create a website that allows members and visitors to easily access information. Our Chamber website enjoys over 500,000-page views a year and continues to be a portal for our region and one of the first stops for visitor’s planning their trip to the State of Maine.

Through the generosity of LCI Fiber Optics, our Chamber was the first in the State to acquire an interactive touch screen. This interactive touch screen is a valuable tool in directing visitors to member businesses and provides them with a wealth of information on the Boothbay/Midcoast Region. Partnering with the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, we are in the planning stages of creating a separate link off our websites that attract young families to our region by providing them with all the relocation information they need. The Chamber has also stepped up its social media presence and during the past two years went from 1,200 to over 5,600 dedicated Facebook followers who like, share and comment on events in and around our Region.

When it comes to community outreach, our Chamber eagerly embraces collaborations with other local non-profit organizations to help spread the word about their valuable community programs. The Chamber currently partners with the Boothbay Region Garden Club, The Community Center, Set for Success, The Boothbay Region Health Center, St. Andrews Village, The Boothbay Region Community Resources Council, the American Legion, Lincoln Health and AOS98.  Whether it’s encouraging employers to hire workers going through recovery, looking at how we might address supporting our local education system or helping to solve some of the other prominent issues facing our Region, we believe in the strength of fostering these important partnerships. 

In 2017, we initiated our Chamber Chat Series in an effort to reach out to segments of the business community and learn more about their businesses and the products and services they offer. It was also an opportunity to learn how to better promote the important contributions they make towards economic growth in our Region. Since initiating the Chats, the Chamber has worked with the Marine and Working Waterfront, Health and Wellness, Building and Trades and the Wedding industries.

All these programs and partnerships contribute to enhancing business, promoting economic development and creating a sense of community for our special little corner of the world. I will always be a champion for this Chamber and the important role it plays in the special quality of life we enjoy here in the Boothbay Harbor Region. It is my hope with the continued dedication of a new Executive Director and the support and partnership of the Board of Directors, this Chamber will continue to thrive and be an economic driver for our Region well into the future.
With very best wishes for the future.
Patricia Royall 
NEWS
Friends of the Library gives $30,000 to BHML
The Friends of the Library Used Bookstore presented the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library Board of Trustees with a check for $30,000 on Jan. 11. The sum was raised by the 40 volunteers who sell books during the store’s open season, April through November.

“We’re so happy to have hit this year’s goal,” said the Friends Board President Ann Kelley, who’s been with the used bookstore for close to 10 years. “To think that we’ve gone from holding bake sales to selling some books to raising this kind of money is always astounding.”

The Friends support represents approximately 10% of BHML’s annual budget. Read Full Story >
A Bridge too Far

Baker Design Consultants' Barney Baker presented selectmen with a $2,836,828 estimate on a new footbridge Jan. 13. The design was based on  board and public feedback on three concept designs  – straight, s-shaped, or curved alignments to the bridge – presented last March.

Baker recapped recent projects beginning with his firm’s  structural design check in 2016  which found bracing to be completely compromised and in need of replacement; and the deck, substandard. “We called the bridge 'structurally deficient.'”

The following renovations made the bridge safe for use, but did little to prevent damage from tide surges and storm-of-the-century weather, said Baker; the current load rating is 50 pounds per square foot; design guides suggest a minimum of 90 to 100 pounds. Baker said replacing rather than renovating the bridge is mostly due to the defunct swing-span allowing boats access to the head of the harbor and the  2017 resiliency study  which highlighted the the inner harbor sensitive structures in the long-term sea level rise. Read Full Story >
WHAT'S HAPPENING
St. Valentine's Day - What's Nude in Boothbay Harbor
With St. Valentine's Day just around the corner t he Boothbay Region Art Foundation and the Boothbay Harbor Chamber of Commerce will hold the 4th annual “What’s Nude in Boothbay Harbor” art show celebrating the human form.
The Opening Reception will be held Friday, February 14th from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. The show runs through Saturday, February 29th. This popular show features the work of artists from all over the State Of Maine. Bring your significant other and enjoy the show and downtown Boothbay Harbor.

The Gallery is still accepting artwork in any two or three dimensional medium, which celebrates the human form. The committee reserves the right to select pieces that will be displayed. The artist does not have to be a resident of the Boothbay area to enter.

Entry forms are still available online at  www.Boothbayartists.org .
For additional information, call the gallery at 207-633-2703.
The Gift of Flowers this Valentine's Day

Order Early for Valentine's Day and Save! Place your order by Sunday February 9 and SAVE 10%. Plus, pick out a FREE Valentine's Day CARD! To help assure on-time delivery during the busy holiday seasons, place your order at least 3 days prior.

Boothbay Region Greenhouses is a full service Florist and Garden Center that offers beautiful and original florals, gifts, and garden products.

Delivery Areas - Boothbay Region Greenhouses proudly serves the Boothbay Harbor area, including Boothbay, East Boothbay, Southport, and Edgecomb, as well as Squirrel, Capitol, and Barter's Islands.
Give the gift of Love from Peapod
Free Maritime Museum Admission Extended Through February
Thanks to a grant from the Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation, Maine Maritime Museum is extending its free admission offer through February 29, 2020. A grant from the Davenport Trust Fund funded free admission for the month of January. By late January, over 2,000 visitors had the opportunity to explore the museum free of charge.

“We are grateful to the Ferguson Foundation for giving even more people the opportunity to explore our state’s maritime heritage at no cost. We look forward to sharing Maine’s incredible maritime stories with our visitors in February,” said Katie Spiridakis, Marketing & Communications Manager.
The Leonard C. and Mildred F. Ferguson Foundation strives, as a primary focus, to make a difference in the families and in young people’s lives, and in the environment in which they live. The foundation was established in 1998.

Admission fees will be waived through February 29, 2020. The museum is open seven days a week, from 9:30 am to 5 pm. Learn More >
Part-Time Guides Wanted
Red Cloak Tours are looking for a daytime guide - 2 afternoons a week, for their Maritime History & Mystery tours. Contact Sally at 207-380-380 or e-mail redcloaktours@gmail.com if you are interested in learning more.


Become a Chamber Member
The Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce is a partnership of business owners and professionals working together to build a better community through affiliation, collaboration, networking and long-lasting relationships. Consider being a Member - Click the link to find information about Membership benefits and more.

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