Sir: It has been a banner summer thanks to a great deal of tourism activity including the exceptional Retrofest and RM events, the return of the Festival of Nations, and a wealth of other activities across the region.
All of these activities have meant the opportunity for more visitors to come to Chatham-Kent and for businesses to take advantage of the increase in tourism activity.
The proof, however, is in the pudding as they say. In this case, the proof is no further than when Economic Development staff stopped one Saturday afternoon to have a discussion with a family of five from Bowmanville, Ont. who came to visit relatives in Blenheim. We spoke with them as they were leaving Serena’s Ladies Wear in Blenheim and asked why they had chosen that store to stop and shop.
“I saw the window display that had this cute top so I decided to go in and have a look,” said Tammy Draband. “It’s a lovely store that has both designer clothing and also some very affordable options as well. I bought two tops and a bathing suit.”
This family’s experience is exactly the type of interaction that we are hoping to help businesses become even more prepared for. It speaks to the value of always having a marketing message that connects with your customers. It’s why we have been working to provide assistance with business planning, education and training, and promoting funding options such as the Downtown and Community Improvement Programs to help revitalize business cores.
It’s important that businesses know that they have access to a group of expert Economic Development Officers who are available to help them find solutions and also new opportunities for growth.
In mid-June, Chatham-Kent Economic Development held an education session called Tourism-Ready Business Overdrive event, which featured a discussion from Chatham-Kent Tourism Development, Community Attraction & Promotion. During the session, there were several key points that stood out, one of which included a statement by Shannon Paiva, Supervisor of Chatham-Kent Tourism. Shannon said she couldn’t stress strongly that every Chatham-Kent business recognizes that they are in the business of tourism, especially those that interact with the public.
On average, 70 per cent of people who visit Chatham-Kent are here to visit family and friends.
Our e-newsletter www.investck.ca is packed full of information about grants, events, training, business development, and other timely industry information. It’s our hope that every business and entrepreneur subscribes as it will help them keep on top of information they need.
Marketing and Communications officer
Economic Development C-K