South Algonquin welcomes new Chamber of Commerce

Katrina Boguski

WHITNEY– Strong winds kept the black flies at bay on June 26 as local business owners and dignitaries gathered for a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new satellite of the Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce.

Greg Webb, Executive Director of the Bancroft and District Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the guests to the new office. It is located at the intersection of Post Street and Madawaska Avenue in Whitney, and is shared with the Employment Resource Centre.

The satellite office will serve both as a welcome centre for visitors and as a place to foster a strong business community. In its capacity as a welcome centre, its primary function will be to encourage visitors on route to Algonquin Park to stop in Whitney. As a hub for local businesses, the centre aims to encourage growth for existing businesses, and support for new business owners who may consider opening in the region.

Local business owner and councillor “Bongo Mike” performed a song he wrote called: “I Never Want to Leave South Algonquin.” The song spoke of the many positive aspects of the region, and poked fun at the things like blackflies. “Bongo Mike” is one of the founders of the local “Black Fly Festival” which takes place each June. This venture is an example of some of the innovative thinking young business owners are bringing to the region. The festival takes what might have been a deterrent to some people and embraces it as a characteristic of the region that can be capitalized upon.

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