Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce hopes to carry 2012 momentum into new year


By Joel Charron

The Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce (ACOC) enjoyed a very eventful 2012 and is hoping to carry that momentum into 2013.

“2012 was a great year for the Chamber and we feel that there are only better things to come in 2013,” said ACOC general manager Lena Lazanja.

Lazanja noted the ACOC had a number of highlights in 2012 which include the Business Excellence Award dinner for the 2011 year, the annual Mardi Gras celebration on Bob-lo Island, the Tavern By the River during the Roots to Boots Festival, teaming with the Amherstburg Rotary Club from the Peace Sculpture that sits in Kings Navy Yard Park, a “very successful” Black Friday, the Rocky Horror Picture Show presentation and partnering with the River Lights.

Lazanja admits The Mardi Gras Celebration, which has quickly become one of the town’s premiere events took a little dip in attendance this past year, however, ACOC believes it was held on a date that a lot of other events were being held.

“The Chamber has discussed changing the date just to make it more accessible for people who would like to attend but have other obligations,” she said.

Lazanja also noted that the partnership with the River Lights Committee was a “tremendous success.”

“Teaming with the River Lights is a fabulous idea,” stated Lazanja.

Lazanja also mentioned the ACOC’s attempt at keeping shoppers in Amherstburg during Black Friday was a successful one.

“Of the businesses in town that did report said they did notice a lot of people shopping and spending money,” she said. “There were a lot of people price comparing.”

Lazanja said the ACOC is hoping to grow the Black Friday event, perhaps tying it in with the opening of the River Lights Festival.

With 2012 behind them, the ACOC is squarely focused on 2013 with their first big event, the Business Excellence Awards being held on Friday, Feb 22 at Pointe West Golf and Country Club.

“We are receiving an amazing response to nominations,” said Lazanja.

The ACOC is also planning an Active Retirement Living Expo that will be held on May 10-11 at the United Community Credit Union Complex.

“What better place than Amherstburg to look at a active retirement living,” said Lazanja? “We will have use of the indoor facilities so we can have roughly 80 vendors with everything from real estate to health and wellness.”

She also said the expo will feature workshops and live seminars, as well as involving the local community service groups.

The ACOC is also planning the major golf tournament in August but are reluctant to release any information right now because the event is in its infant stages of planning.

Lazanja credits the ACOC’s executive board for taking an active role in the community.

“When you look at of board of directors, we have a lot of driven individuals who are looking to help Amherstburg grow,” she said. “When you have people that passionate and want to see these events come there is really no stopping what can be accomplished.”


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