FLORENCE VOTED #2 BEST HARBOR IN US

USHarbors.com has tallied the votes from across the country and from among their 4 million users. Florence was voted #2 Best Harbor of 2019 in the US, overtaking Lubec, Maine, in the final week of voting. Padanaram/South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, was voted #1. The Best Harbor contest kicked off in January with nominations of 1,278 harbors across 23 states. During the nomination phase readers of US Harbors narrowed down the list of eligible harbors leaving 90 across the US. Online voting began in early March. Rounding out the top five were Florence, Lubec, ME, Rockland, ME, and Oyster Bay, NY. The organization announced in its news release that “Over the past few months US Harbors has been on a mission to find out which community our users deem the Best Harbor of 2019. It’s been a long, tight race. For us the best part of the contest was getting to read […]

The Whales Are Coming! The Whales Are Coming!

Whale Watching Week starts March 23 here in Florence. Book a cozy, comfortable room in one of our award-winning lodgings for your base of operations, then grab a coffee or hot chocolate to go from one of our great coffee places before hitting the road for the day. Better yet, order a lunch to go from one of our many excellent restaurants and head north on Highway 101 to the many state parks, turn-outs, or attractions (Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Cape Perpetua) for the best views. Bring your binoculars or telephoto camera lenses for close-ups, and appropriate clothing. As we like to say, “There is no bad weather in Florence…just bad clothing choices!” Look for the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” signs along Highway 101 so you can talk to the volunteer experts and learn more about these majestic migraters. Even though whales live off the Central Oregon Coast […]

Blue Heron Gallery Exhibits in Visitors Center!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center features a different local art exhibit each month. In February the exhibit spotlights a variety of works by local and Northwest artists from The Blue Heron Gallery in Old Town. “Visitors will find a beautiful display of a wide variety of jewelry, sculpture, and artwork in several mediums by locally-, regionally-, and nationally-acclaimed artists,” says Jack Butler, owner of the Blue Heron Gallery, Sticks and Stones Gallery, and Wind Drift Gallery.  “It’s exciting to be invited to participate in the Chamber’s monthly exhibit,” he adds. “We appreciate that the Chamber supports our vibrant arts community.” “We are delighted to have a sampling of The Blue Heron’s collection on display at the Chamber’s Visitor Center this month,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “The Chamber is listed in the local art tour map because of our monthly displays of photography, paintings, or three-dimensional […]

Branding – Is your business building your brand?

Branding – are you? Branding is one of the most productive marketing tools you can use to build your business. Florence “A city in motion”, the chamber’s marketing “Oregon’s Coastal Playground”, Nike – “Just Do It”, ROLAIDS “How Do You Spell Relief?” you get the idea. Personally, I think the most important part of marketing is the actual interactive experience. Are you living up to your branding? Who are you targeting and what is important to them? My mom trained me early, there is a big difference between inexpensive and cheap. This concept extends to a multitude of business tangibles. I’ll share the one greatest tool you can use to brand your business – CUSTOMER SERVICE. When is the last time you’ve heard “The Customer is Always Right”? Can you say Nordstrom? How do you feel when you’re the customer and you’re treated right? That’s what I’m talking about. Customer […]

CLAIM YOUR SHARE OF 705 MILLION IN FLORENCE

Last year, nationally, more than half of American workers left 705 million vacation days unused—up from 662 in 2017. Nearly 10,000 of those days were left on the table by Oregonians. That’s why the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is participating in National Plan Your Vacation Day on January 29. The event, promoted by The U.S. Travel Association, encourages everyone to take 30 minutes early in the year to plan a vacation. “It is proven that those that take vacation time are happier, healthier, and more productive,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Vacation is essential to strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance and promote better health—and Florence should be at the top of your list of vacation destinations for many reasons. “And we think there is no better place than right here in Florence—Oregon’s Coastal Playground.” Research shows that individuals […]

FLORENCE CHAMBER ANNOUNCES WINNER OF 2018 PHOTO CONTEST

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce has selected the winner of a $250 cash prize in its 2018 photo contest. The organization was looking for the best photos of the fun, frolic, and iconic buildings and scenery, from Oregon’s Coastal Playground—an area up to 25 miles in any direction of Florence. More than 100 photos were entered. James Dominguez of Eugene, OR, entered the winning photo of daughter Cecelia running barefoot through a stream on the beach at the end of Hobbit Trail just north of Heceta Head Lighthouse. Dominguez’s photo will be featured in the Chamber’s Visitors’ Resource Guide and other printed marketing pieces, on the Chamber’s website, and in social media. A panel of Chamber members selected the winner. “Our family is thrilled,” says Dominguez. “We were on a little family vacation to Florence in May and I was trying out the selective focus feature on my new […]

OSCC Releases Pay Equity Guide for Employers

Last month, the Bureau of Oregon Labor & Industries released their final rules for employers and employees on Oregon’s groundbreaking Equal Pay Act, passed by the 2017 Oregon legislature. The new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2019 requires that employees be paid equally for comparable work regardless of gender or any of Oregon’s ten other protected classes. We believe this will be the most challenging human resources issue for most of our Chamber members over the next year. Further complicating matters – and increasing the level of urgency – is that lawsuits are allowed based on violations of the law starting on January 1st. The guide, which you can view here, provides helpful information for your members as they prepare to comply with the new law. The guidance includes an overview of the law, frequently asked questions, a guide for employers on self-evaluations, a sample checklist of policies […]

First Citizen Nominations Are Open!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that nominations are open for the 2018 First Citizen Awards! This prestigious award is given to an individual who has used their influence, time, talents and resource to serve and improve the Florence Area. Now is the time to recognize the individuals in our community, Toot their horn! The award will be presented at the January 23rd Siuslaw Awards emceed by KEZI’s Matt Templemen. Download the nomination form here.

FLORENCE NAMED A NATIONAL TOP-25 GETAWAY FOR FAMILIES!

The recognitions keep rolling in for Florence, Oregon. TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, recently named Florence, Oregon, as one of its 25 Best Family Weekend Getaways With Kids. In introducing their recommendations the site said “From kid-friendly adventures in the great outdoors to classic theme parks, we’re featuring our picks for the best family weekend trips in every US region—so no matter where you live, there’s a convenient spot not too far away.” TripAdvisor touted Florence as a place with “plenty of activities to do with kids—whether it’s a visit to Sand Master Park, the world’s first sandboard park, or spending the day on Heceta Beach. The entire family will love the Sea Lion Caves, a favorite roadside attraction and must-see spot. There’s mini golf, horseback riding on the beach, and giant dune buggy tours, too. With an activity to satisfy every mood, it’s a top choice if you’re […]