PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce announced Wednesday a five-year plan designed to bolster the local economy and add value to the community.
The first goal is for the chamber to be a sustainable organization by 2017, which means eliminating long-term debt, employing a full-time executive director and reaching membership and staffing levels required to achieve other goals in the plan, Jim Haguewood, chamber board member, told some 40 to 50 people at a chamber luncheon.
“We envision a Port Angeles regional business community as extraordinary as the natural environment in which we live and work,” he said, calling the plan a living document that will guide the organization toward that goal.
The chamber is looking for feedback on its plan, which it has on its website.
That plan can be found here.
By 2020, the goal is to add more than 100 retail establishments to the area and add more than 1,000 jobs, while nearly doubling the chamber’s membership from 390 to 600.
If successful, the average annual salary in Port Angeles would rise from 2013’s average of $31,140 up to $35,714 by 2020.
The chamber plans to engage the business community and build six organizational partnerships while maintaining a pool of more than 60 volunteers.
Beginning in 2017, the chamber will annually conduct a survey of members about the business climate. It will focus on one or two business or climate changes or opportunities per year with partners.
Among the plans is to launch a yearly regional business almanac that will focus on the business climate and trends in the area.
“We’ll create a fast-track program of available properties and service and product gaps the chamber sees in our community,” Haguewood said, adding that the chamber wants to promote and celebrate entrepreneurs.
Another goal is to create value in the community, he said. By 2018, chamber officials plan to have designed and launched a business leadership development program either within the organization or through a partnership.
Luke Robins, Peninsula College president, said it is clear the chamber’s plans will be effective and praised other organizations working to improve Port Angeles.
“I’m more optimistic with what’s happening in this whole area than since I first got here,” said Robins, who was hired in 2012. “A lot of folks are really beginning to get focused on what we need to do.”
As part of the chamber’s goal of adding value to the community, it is bringing professional motivator Trevor Moawad, who has helped Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, to speak in Port Angeles on Oct. 18.
The chamber has invited student athletes in the area to spend an hour and a half with Moawad. That will be followed by a small-scale event for a limited number of patron members.
A larger event is planned later that evening with 220 seats available. Tickets for that presentation event are $30 through Oct. 7. After that, tickets will go for $40.
For more information, contact the chamber of commerce by calling 360-452-2363 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.