Chamber Minutes

A weekly update from our Executive Director, Timm Slater…

The Chamber Minute-12/01/18

A community tradition was born in 1987 when the Friends of Shore Acres decided to “string a few lights” to help celebrate the holidays. That first season, 6,000 miniature lights, one large Christmas tree, and the decorated Garden House drew 9,000 visitors.

 Now in its 32nd year of bringing magic to the Coast, Holiday Lights with 325,000 LED lights – many decorated Christmas trees, lighted sculptures, entertainment in the pavilion, and a beautifully decorated Garden House draws 40,000 to 50,000 visitors each season. Inside the Garden House, scrolls of names are a tribute to business supporters and the more than 1,700 volunteers who make it happen.

So beginning Thanksgiving day through the entire month of December, plan to make the trip to Shore Acres for Holiday Lights. Don’t forget to sign the registry in the Garden House and enjoy the free hot spiced cider and cookies.   


Down the road, don’t miss exploring Charleston. The harbor is the heart of this community and serves as a home port to a large commercial fishing fleet. You’ll find a bustling marina serving charter boat operators, sports fishermen, crabbers and recreational boaters. The harbor area includes restaurants, tackle, seafood, and specialty gift shops. Unique seafood restaurants will appease any palette.

While in Charleston, stop in at OIMB’s Charleston Marine Life Center. It’s an exciting place for discovery. Five exhibit galleries focus on coastal ecosystems, deep-water habitats, fisheries, marine mammals, and ongoing marine research. From the Center’s windows, you can look out over the harbor just a few feet away. Open 11 am to 5 pm Wednesday through Saturday, this adventure is free for kids.

So, come on out to the Adventure Coast of Oregon in December, and start a new holiday tradition.

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The Chamber Minute-11/24/18
The annual Chamber of Commerce Awards banquet is set for Saturday, January 26th. Besides acknowledging the Officers, Board members, and Committee Chairs for the past year, and introducing the members who will serve in those roles for the upcoming year, we have a variety of awards and recognitions which truly make this a community celebration.

We’ll talk more about the banquet as the time gets closer, but one of the main events of the evening, we need your help with right now. Citizen of the Year is an honor that is given to a member of our community, who, by consistently giving of their time, energy and resources, has made Oregon’s Bay Area a better place to live. For 2017 that award went to Cricket Soules, who is best known for her work preserving and enhancing the Pioneer Cemetery next to MHS, the Veterans Appreciation Program each Memorial Day at the high school and middle school and her active mentoring of high school seniors.

Additionally the Business of the Year award is given to a business that has exhibited excellence in products and customer service; contributed time, manpower and resources to community improvement projects; and made significant contributions toward a healthy economy through excellence in employee relationships and training. Last year the award went to the Tower Motor Company, who actively promote a culture of community caring, while being successful and respected in their field.

So how can you help affect these two awards? By making a nomination for someone or business which you think meets those standards. Nominations are now open through January 11th for both of these honors. Give us a call, look on the website or stop by the Chamber office on Central Avenue in Coos Bay and we can get the nomination forms to you.

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The Chamber Minute-11/17/18

As we enter the Thanksgiving Week, let me share a special story with you.

Once upon a time, there was a wise man who used to go to the ocean to do his writing. He had a habit of walking on the beach before he began his work. One day he was walking along the shore. As he looked down the beach, he saw someone moving like a dancer. He smiled to himself thinking of one who would dance to the day. So he began to walk faster to catch up. As he got closer, he saw that it was a young man and the young man wasn’t dancing, but instead he was reaching down to the shore, picking up something and very gently throwing it into the ocean.

As he got closer, he called out, “Good morning! What are you doing?” Came the reply, “Throwing starfish into the ocean.”

“I guess I should have asked, why are you throwing starfish into the ocean?”

“The sun is up and the tide is going out. And if I don’t throw them in they’ll die.”

“But young man, don’t you realize that there are miles and miles of beach and starfish all along it. You can’t possibly make a difference!”

The young man listened politely. Then bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea, past the breaking waves. “I made a difference for that one!”

What that young man’s actions represent is the something that is special in each and every one of us. We have all been gifted with the ability to make a difference. We have to be aware of that gift. And that is your challenge. And that is my challenge. And if we throw our stars wisely and well, I have no doubt that our Oregon Coast, will have a wonderful future.

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The Chamber Minute-11/10/18

Our area has been dealing with the impact of a tough economy for a long time. Over 20 years ago, a group of Chamber businesses and the college got together to propose an event that would inform us about the developments on the national, state and regional economic fronts and celebrate local efforts and successes throughout the past year. Through that effort the Economic Outlook Forum was launched.

The 26th annual Economic Outlook Forum is scheduled for Friday December 14th from 6:45 to 11:00 am at the Mill Casino-Hotel. South coast residents will have the opportunity to hear from renowned economists and local leaders about projects of importance to our area.

The conference features Economist John Mitchell (M&H Economic Consultants), who will provide the keynote address on the national and regional pictures. John has the unique talent of making economics both interesting and entertaining. An overview of the Coos County and Coos Bay area economy will be provided by Annette Shelton-Tiderman, of the Oregon Employment Department.  Areas of focus this year center around the rapid growth of the Tourism industry aa a part of our economy. The local updates will involve Julie Miller of the South Coast Regional Tourism Network and, secondly, the ever-developing operations at the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. A third presentation will come from Sam Baugh of the South Coast Development Council. The popular feature “Home Grown Business Successes” will highlight operations who are actively linked into the tourism industry. Additionally, to open the forum, we will have an introductory presentation from Scott West of Travel Oregon on both the statewide tourism perspective and activity on the south coast.

So mark it down, December 14th, watch for the registration forms coming out later this month.

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The Chamber Minute-11/03/18

Have you been to the Wednesday Business Connection lately? Well chances are some of your friends have, since over 270 of you have participated in our five sessions this month. October has seen a good mix of variety at WBC with a focus on foundations, business education, county government and the Oregon legislature. We opened the month with Max Williams, CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation. The following week saw a candidate forum for our State Representative District 9 seat. The next Wednesday, John Bacon was in to talk about the great developments at the SBDC to promote your business success. The remainder of the month belonged to Coos County, with Sheriff Craig Zanni in Week four and the entire County Commissioner Board sharing their insights, on current and future county operations and opportunities for the last Wednesday in October.

WBC offers you the chance (September through May) to network with others, promote your business or event with the weekly open mic, while keeping current on issues that impact your operations and Oregon’s Bay Area, through our main presentation.

November has a wonderful line up to enjoy at WBC. November 7th, the Port of Coos Bay will share their latest developments and future plans. The Oregon Business Plan will be the focus of John Audley, the following Wednesday.  After a Wednesday hiatus for Thanksgiving, the Jordan Cove Energy Project will provide their lastest update on November 28th, to finish the month.

What a great informational and networking resource for you. That’s the Wednesday Business Connection (WBC), every Wednesday from 11:30 to 1:00 pm in the Salmon Room at the Mill Casino-Hotel. If you have people, issues or services you would like to see as the focus of a WBC luncheon, give us a call at the Chamber.

Remember Our Business is helping your Business. And like us on Facebook.