We are thrilled to announce that River Arts Alliance, led by President Loyce Akers, will be taking over staffing the Visitors Center in downtown Newport. Along with area and member-specific information, they will also be showcasing artwork from local artists as they share their knowledge of local attractions and treasures with visitors, tourists and locals alike. We look forward to working with them and thank all applicants for their interest in serving our community in this fashion and also the Historical Society for working with the Chamber to find a solution that works for all. The Visitors Center will be staffed by River Arts Alliance volunteers (many of whom have previously volunteered at the Visitors Center in the past) and will be open 9-4pm Tuesdays through Saturdays during the summer season and then Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 10am-2pm through the winter. Welcome!
Just in time for Who Let the Girls Out!?, Newport's semi-annual shopping extravaganza, seven refurbished benches made their appearance along Washington Ave. in downtown Newport. And were they a godsend for the ladies who spent the day power shopping and needed a quick breather before hitting the next stores on their list.
The most recent project of the Beautification Committee, led by 2011 Citizen of the Year Nancy Thompson, the benches represent a true collaboration among various community groups. The City had removed them years ago due to vandalism. But Nancy and her crew were convinced that benches were an integral part of a vibrant downtown. So she assembled a team and tackled the project with gusto. The Chamber of Commerce applied for the necessary grant funding from the EDC to finance the project. KCTC students, led by Fritz Fox, disassembled, sanded and refurbished the benches. Nancy and 2012 Citizen of the Year Sue Scobby, in consultation with business owners and the City of Newport, determined their placement, and the PUD's Line Crew #1 handled the actual installation. Ta da! Benches for downtown for all to enjoy!
Next up is signage and a color palette for downtown Newport. Stay tuned for an announcement on that front soon.
Join us Tuesday March 5th at 6pm at the PUD's Box Canyon Boardroom in Newport, WA for a report on Spokane's recent Start Up Weekend and to watch a demonstration of new free micro-gifting technology that can help drive traffic to local businesses. There will be a members' open forum to discuss upcoming topics and workshops our members would like to see. Please bring your ideas to the meeting.
As always there will be an opportunity for members to network and share updates with the group. Be sure to bring your business cards. We look forward to seeing you (and a guest) there!
By, Shawna Beese-Bjurstrom, Committee Chair
Lightbulb-to-Launch was birthed as a chamber committee with the ultimate goal of developing a business incubator in the Greater Newport Area. Since its beginnings in Fall 2012, the committee has grown in our knowledge of key elements that need to exist first to poise business incubators for the best possible success. We carry the vision that somewhere along our journey we would be key in the development of a Business Incubator/Resource Center in our community.
With mixed emotions, the Greater Newport Area Chamber of Commerce announces that it has accepted the resignation of Executive Director Valorie Hein. Valorie has been involved with the Chamber for almost a year & half, first as a Board member and Treasurer and most recently as Executive Director.