MANAGER’S DESK: Alberni chamber predicts more visitor traffic for spring.

Canada's groundhogs are predicting an early spring, and the news couldn't be better for the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.

I’m not totally convinced, but I assume we should all be pleased that the groundhog is predicting an early spring in Canada.

At the Alberni Valley Visitor Centre we are already experiencing more visitor traffic. Some are heading out to storm and whale watch on the west coast and many are looking for directions to sporting events such as the 29th annual Alberni Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which wrapped up at the AV Multiplex on the weekend.

Next month we expect a real spike in numbers as the BC All-Native Junior Basketball Tournament hits town with 50 teams taking part, March 18-23. That computes to more than 1,000 participants, officials, friends and family in town: a real economic generator. We hope the local community throws its support behind this huge event.

It’s also the time of year when city council looks at budgets and conducts strategic planning sessions to identify short- and long-term priorities. The chamber is lobbying for up-town revitalization and the much-needed industrial road to move up the priority list along with water and sewage upgrades. We are also working to maintain the zero increase in the business tax which Port Alberni has maintained for some 10 years now.

Coming to a mail slot near you will be our chamber of commerce invoice for membership dues. There is no increase for 2012. We hope you and your colleagues continue to support the chamber in its lobbying efforts, the ambassador program, visitor centre operation, Community Excellence Awards dinner and the growing list of services offered through membership.

A detailed list of membership benefits is available on our website, avcoc.com. Our effectiveness on behalf of the business community is directly proportional to our membership numbers. If you have any questions regarding Chamber membership, just give the office a call at 250-724-6535.

Nominations are now open for the Community Excellence Awards dinner, taking place April 12. Nomination guidelines and forms are available on our website or drop by the office to pick the forms up.

Congrats to Sharie Marie Francoeur, mortgage broker, for her Vancouver Island Business award!

Thought for the Week:

“Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river.” Nakita Khrushchev

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