Main photo: Board members and staff of the Port Sydney/Utterson and Area Chamber of Commerce (from left) Sandra Watson-Brown (manager), Brenda Murdoch (vice president), Gord Haig (director), Derek Watson-Brown (president). Treasurer Lisa Menard and director Mark Beadle were unable to attend. (supplied photo)
Do you know the variety of businesses that are available in Port Sydney/Utterson?
There’s more—much more—than you may be aware of.
These villages may not have typical downtown cores of shops and offices, but the Port Sydney/Utterson and Area Chamber of Commerce wants the community to know that the area has all the essentials and more. “Even locals may not realize the extent of business that is available to them,” said Chamber manager Sandra Watson-Brown.
Enticing outdoor features, including beaches for swimming in the summer, an outdoor skating rink in the winter, and its famous heritage tree on the banks of the Muskoka River, all draw people to live in and visit Port Sydney and Utterson.
The communities are just a short drive from both Huntsville and Bracebridge, but they’re surrounded by beautiful countryside. That led to the creation of their social media hashtag #CountryConvenience.
“We are a beautiful area supported by great businesses,” said Derek Watson-Brown, the Chamber’s president. “Everything you’d need is right here.”
The organization recently qualified for government funding (administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce) to launch a Shop Local Campaign which is intended to help businesses with pandemic recovery.
Client First Web Design and Graphics, a Chamber member, designed the campaign visuals to include nods to local waterways and the heritage tree, with leaves that fly off to form map points representing the Chamber’s members in various locations. A comic strip was created too and was then turned into a video for the Chamber’s YouTube channel (with audio courtesy of Country 102).
“With this campaign we want to remind people of how much there is here in the Port Sydney/Utterson area,” said Sandra.
The ‘Shop/Hire/Find/Choose Local’ campaign messaging was chosen to encourage people to support local businesses in many ways. “If we want our businesses to still be here after the pandemic settles down, we need to support them,” Sandra emphasized.
The Chamber has a new website, built and hosted by ShopMuskoka.com, which includes a Member Directory of businesses offering a wide variety of products and services. The new brochure bunkie outside the Chamber office gives the organization another way to promote its members, the community, and regional tourism activity 24/7 by stocking promo materials such as pamphlets, guides, and maps that appeal to locals and tourists alike. They are also in the process of updating exterior signage to give the office a fresh face.
“Our businesses cater to both seasonal and full-time residents,” said Derek. “We are supporting the industry of tourism as well with our Chamber. We want to encourage choosing local.”
Derek and Sandra have been involved with the Chamber for more than a decade. They are passionate about showcasing their beautiful community and what it has to offer, and they are very proud of the board and its recent accomplishments.
“Our Chamber has such an incredible, involved board of directors,” said Derek. “Everyone is so excited to promote Port Sydney/Utterson and our amazing businesses. Each person brings such a valuable perspective and energy to our board.”
To learn more about this Chamber and its business members, visit portsydneycoc.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call or text 705-385-9753, check out their campaign video on YouTube here, or follow them on Facebook here, on Instagram @portsydneychamber, and on Twitter @portsydneycoc. Be sure to tag #CountryConvenience!
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