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Chamber Member News & Updates
November  2013

If you have news you'd like to share with fellow Chamber Members, please email a short sentence to paragraph no later than the third Friday of the month.
Susan Mills, Manager
& the 2013 Board of Directors
Chamber Presents to Council November 7

We are seeking financial support for Tourism Services provided to Lambton Shores 


Why not attend the November 7 Council Meeting to show your support for the Chamber and show how important Tourism Services are to YOUR business.

Tourism is Lambton Shore's Primary Economic Driver
The Chamber has provided Tourism and Visitor Services to this area for many years. Annually, the cost of providing Tourism and Visitor Services is about $78k. For the first time in 2011 the Chamber received some financial assistance from the Municipality for the provision of these services (2011 - $13k; 2012-$15; 2013-$21k). The financial assistance received however, does not nearly cover the actual cost.

How Are Tourism Services Paid For In Other Areas?
Tourism Services are paid for by all levels of government across Ontario. There are only a few Chambers in Ontario that provide Tourism Services and those that do have multi-year, paid contracts with their municipalities. As an example, the Chamber of Commerce in Prince Edward County (which is NOT a county, it's a municipality) is paid $57k annually to provide a year-round Welcome Centre, website with online accommodation checker, respond to visitor inquiries, and produce and mail out the visitor guide. The amount they're provided does not need to cover advertising or marketing of the area.

What We Do?
Our Chamber provides a year-round Welcome Centre ($10,649), tourist-focused website with online accommodation checker and mobile-friendly mapping system ($3,534), responds to visitor inquiries, and produces and distributes the area's visitor guide ($24,475). We also actively market and advertise this area ($9,838) in established media such as Bluewater Visitors Guide, Drayton Entertainment Playbill, Pinery Provincial Park Visitors Guide, Navigate (Tourism Sarnia Lambton's guide), Ontario's West Coast (Huron Tourism Association's guide), DayTripping, and Summer Fun Guide. As well, we produce a monthly e-Newsletter that's sent to 1,300 potential visitors and we officially represent our area on the boards of Tourism Sarnia Lambton and Huron Tourism Association ($1,626). We estimate about 50% of our manager's time is spent on these activities, 100% of the two summer students and 100% of our two volunteers ($32,985).

Tourism Benefits Lambton Shores
Did you know over 2 million people per year visit Lambton County and the amount of money they spend while here is almost $178-million?

Since StatsCan collects data based on census regions, we are unable to break that figure down for Lambton Shores alone, but below you'll find some attendance figures for local popular attractions and events.

Did you know -
  • 600,000 people visit Pinery Provincial Park each year
  • 60,000 patrons attend the Grand Bend Motorplex events
  • 41,000 patrons attend Huron Country Playhouse
  • 23,000 people attend Canada Day in Grand Bend
  • 11,642 people are helped by our Welcome Centre  
  • 10,451 folks visit Lambton Heritage Musuem
  • 7,000 frequent Grand Bend's Farmers' Market
  • 2,700 attend the Studio Tour
  • 1,000 people go to Aquafest
  • 816 bird enthusiasts attend Return of the Tundra Swans
  • 750 attend Winter Carnival
  • 500 visit the Forest Garden Show  
Based on the 11,642 inquiries our Welcome Centre handles annually, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport's "Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model" calculator figures we are responsible for $1.5-million of tourist spending in terms of accommodation, food, retail, transportation/gas and area attractions!

The Huron County Playhouse reports its 13-week summer season annually accounts for $14-million of local visitor spending.

Grand Bend Motorplex's 60,000 patrons - using the same Ontario Ministry's calculator - would account for $10.8 million of local visitor spending.

What We Will Propose to Council
In our November 7 presentation, we will propose that Tourism and Visitor Services receive a percentage of Grand Bend's paid parking revenue (about $600k annually). Paid parking is in effect from the Victoria Day Weekend through to mid-September and is primarily used and paid for by area visitors. By establishing a link between Tourism Services and the parking revenue generated during peak tourist season, we will be connecting the activity (i.e. Tourism & Visitor services) to the return-on-investment (parking revenue) without any extra load on the taxpayer.

Our Call To Action
Join us on November 7 to show your support. If you cannot attend the Council Meeting, why not write a letter of support in favour of the Chamber's plan and your thoughts on the importance of Tourism to Lambton Shores?

Council Meeting Details
When: Thursday, November 7
Time: 6pm
Where: The Legacy Centre, Thomas Hall, 16 Allen Street, Thedford.

Letters of Support
Address to Mayor & Council and reference the "Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce November 7 presentation" and mail to:


Mayor & Council

Municipality of Lambton Shores

Administration Office

7883 Amtelecom Parkway, Forest, ON  N0N 1J0 


Member Profile
Barbara Bloch-Gower to represent Grand Bend Area on To urism Sarnia Lambton Board of Directors

When the call went out from Tourism Sarnia Lambton (TSL) looking for new board directors to help guide the County's tourism efforts, Barbara offered to get involved!

Since 2000, TSL has been responsible for the County's destination marketing efforts and, simply put, "seeks to bring more visitors to our area, get them to stay longer, spend more money and ensure their experience will bring them back ."

Barbara is an excellent addition to the TSL Board. Her extensive background as an entrepreneur and owner/chef of Custom Catering by Barbara since 1985 will contribute a much-needed hospitality background from a tourist-reliant economy (i.e. the Grand Bend Area) to the TSL Board.

Barbara's entrepreneurial background includes a natural food store/catering business, which she and her partner continued to re-invent seeking to find the "best business for making money year round." The sweet spot of success for any entrepreneur operating in a seasonal dependent economy.

Over the years, the re-invention experimented with a bed & breakfast, deli, ice cream shop, bakery and pizza joint. Catering won that competition and continues to grow and 2013 proved to be Custom Catering by Barbara's biggest year yet!

Barbara also has experience serving on various boards with a variety of organizations, including the Huron Country Playhouse Board in 1986 and five years on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters South Huron (2000 - 2005).

Custom Catering By Barbara / / 519-238-2105 /
In This Issue
Chamber Presents to Council November 7 - Show Your Support
Barbara Bloch-Gower joins TSL
Celebrate the Season Business Awards
Call for Business Award Nominations!
Membership Due
New Members
Christmas Comes Early

Celebrate the Season Business Awards Dinner

Thursday, November 21, 6pm-9pm
Location: Hessenland Country Inn
Cost: $40 per ticket (inclusive to taxes & gratuities!) 

This is our largest and most social event of the year! It's also the time we recognize business savvy and creativity.

At our 2012 event, we not only handed out the hardware for our regular business awards, but we also presented a new award to celebrate and recognize the great depth of community spirit in the Grand Bend Area. The David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award was presented to Jim Southcott (Rotary Club of Grand Bend, Grand Bend Historical Society, lots of stints as the "parade guy" with Winter Carnival and Canada Day) for his community support, commitment and dedication to the Grand Bend Area and his efforts to make us more vibrant and prosperous. 


You and your guests are invited to help celebrate the accomplishments of the award nominees and recipients, enjoy a fabulous meal and guest speaker (to be announced soon) and capture some bargains at the silent auction.


How To Get Tickets:

Call 519-238-2001, email or buy online at:

Your tickets will be mailed to you or you can pick them up at the Welcome Centre noon to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.  
Send us your nominations on or before November 1, 2013.

We're looking for nominees for:
  • Business of the Year (company award)
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (individual award)
  • David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award (individual award)
The Business of the Year award recognizes a company or organization for special accomplishment in one or more areas of achievement, whereas the Entrepreneur of the Year recognizes an individual who best personifies a group of specific characteristics.

The David Scatcherd Community Spirit Award was a new award added last year and goes to a community member known to be a local citizen who truly gives back to the community.

Details of the awards' criteria and nomination form are available online or download the  Award Nomination Package (PDF).
Please be sure to pay your 2014 membership dues no later than November 1, 2013!


Pay by cheque or cash or PayPal!


To pay online go to: 


Make cheques payable to "Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce" and mail to:


Grand Bend & Area Chamber of Commerce 

1 Eighty-One Crescent St., 

PO Box 248

Grand Bend, ON  N0M 1T0

Please join with us in extending a warm welcome to our newest member. We look forward to seeing out at Members Events.
Christmas Comes Early 2013
Bigger than ever
This year's event includes participating retail, restaurant and accommodation providers in Forest, Grand Bend and St. Joseph.

Spread the news!
Please print and display the Christmas Comes Early flyer at your location.