Birch Bay Chamber of Commerce
By Nick Jerns
board of directors for the last year has been Ruth Lauman,
Julie Gerity, Ted Morris, Pat Palmer, Jana Soloway, Cheryll
Ryan, and myself. The boards hard work has resulted
in 24 percent growth to membership and a current balance
Three of our largest achievements this year have been the creation of the chamber website, the expansion of the arts and crafts festival and the new trophied sand structure contest.
Our website has had 331,035 hits to date, with an average of 1,163 visits per month. Our newsletter has an average of 299 hits per month, the membership directory 140 hits per month, information on lodging 139 hits per month. The website received the Prestigious Golden Web Award from the Association of Web Masters and Designers.
This years Discovery Days was an enormous success with an estimated 2,200 visitors coming to Birch Bay for food, crafts, and entertainment. Our worst fears were realized when restaurants were turning people away.
Birch Bay was voted as the Best Place to Fly a Kite in Washington state by Northwest Family Magazine.
The economic development committee was created to create economic opportunities that encourage the growth necessary to support existing and future Birch Bay commerce, while preserving the areas ecosystems and improving its quality of life.
The park committee was created after the Whatcom county parks and recreation board of commissioners voted unanimously in favor of letting the chamber develop a four-acre tract of land on the corner of Cedar and Anderson roads in the Cottonwood neighborhood - land that was donated by the Halverson family in 1939.
Unfortunately, not everything this year was clear skies and beautiful sunsets. Not only is the local economy suffering from low value of the Canadian dollar after September 11, 2001 our border became nearly impenetrable as proof of citizenship became a requirement to cross.
To add insult to injury, many still believe that after Labor Day the sidewalks of Birch Bay rolled up. Today we have 14 businesses that provide a variety of services to include entertainment, food, gifts, groceries, and espressos to go. Birch Bay no longer rolls up the sidewalks during the winter. We are a community with a heart that beats year round and requires your patronage to make it stronger.
I am challenging all of you, as we enter into our 31st year of existence, to make a difference in our community. Talk to your neighbors and friends about the great restaurants and shops that Birch Bay has to offer. Get them involved in their community, invite them to a meeting and help their voices be heard. Our chamber is in a fortunate position to lead our community and with your help we will stabilize our economy and improve upon our quality of life.