Discover Port Sydney/Utterson #CountryConvenience

Main photo: Port Sydney/Utterson and Area Chamber of Commerce Board Members and Staff (left to right) Sandra Watson-Brown (Director), Brenda Murdoch (Vice-Chair), Gord Haig ( director), Derek Watson-Brown (chairman). Treasurer Lisa Menard and Director Mark Beadle were unable to attend. (photo provided)

Do you know the variety of businesses available in Port Sydney/Utterson?

There’s more—much more—than you might think.

These villages may not have typical town centers of shops and offices, but the Port Sydney/Utterson and Area Chamber of Commerce wants the community to know that the area has all the essentials and more . “Even locals may not realize the extent of the business available to them,” said chamber manager Sandra Watson-Brown.

Attractive outdoor features, including beaches for swimming in the summer, an outdoor skating rink in the winter, and its famous heritage tree on the banks of the Muskoka River, draw everyone to live in and visit Port Sydney and Utterson.

The communities are only a short drive from Huntsville and Bracebridge, but are surrounded by beautiful countryside. This led to the creation of their #CountryConvenience social media hashtag.

“We’re a beautiful region backed by great business,” said Chamber Speaker Derek Watson-Brown. “Everything you would need is here.”

The organization recently qualified for government funding (administered by the Ontario Chamber of Commerce) to launch a Shop Local campaign that aims to help businesses recover from the pandemic.

Client First Web Design and Graphics, a member of the Chamber, designed the campaign visuals to include nods to local waterways and the heritage tree, with leaves fanning out to form dots of map representing members of the Chamber at various locations. A comic strip was also created which was later made into a video for the Chamber’s YouTube channel (courtesy of Country 102).

“With this campaign, we want to remind people of everything there is here in the Port Sydney/Utterson area,” Sandra said.

The “Buy/Hire/Find/Choose Local” campaign message was chosen to encourage people to support local businesses in many ways. “If we want our businesses to still be around after the pandemic is over, we need to support them,” Sandra stressed.

The Chamber has a new website, built and hosted by ShopMuskoka.com, which includes a member directory of businesses offering a wide variety of products and services. The new brochure depot outside the Chamber office provides another way for the organization to promote its members, the community and regional tourism activity 24/7 by stocking promotional material such as brochures, guides and maps that appeal to locals and tourists alike. They are also in the process of updating exterior signage to give the office a new face.

“Our businesses cater to seasonal and full-time residents,” Derek said. “We also support the tourism industry with our chamber. We want to encourage local choice.

Derek and Sandra have worked at the Chamber for over a decade. They are passionate about showcasing their beautiful community and what it has to offer, and they are very proud of the council and its recent accomplishments.

“Our chamber has such an amazing and involved board of directors,” Derek said. “Everyone is thrilled to promote Port Sydney/Utterson and our amazing businesses. Each person brings such valuable perspective and energy to our board.

To learn more about this Chamber and its member companies, visit portsydneycoc.com, email [email protected], call or text 705-385-9753, watch their campaign video on YouTube here, or follow them on Facebook here, on Instagram @portsydneychamber, and on Twitter @portsydneycoc. Be sure to tag #CountryConvenience!

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