The Chamber Board has been busy firming up a range of events and initiatives for the balance of 2016 that we believe strongly aligns with our recently reviewed broader outlook and purpose. If you haven’t yet seen this on the Chamber’s website, then in summary:
Our Vision: For the Bellingen business community to grow and prosper and play its key role in the strength and sustainability of our broader community.
Our Mission: To assist the Bellingen business community to develop, flourish and achieve sustainable and enduring success.
Our Values: We will act collaboratively, honestly and respectfully of all our members, our stakeholders and the Bellingen community. We will be an independent voice for our members, not aligned to any political group, party or persuasion.
To keep us focused, there are a range of actions on the website that will guide what we will do and how we can be measured – but as always, if you think there is more we should or be doing, feedback is welcomed!
So after an absolutely stunning Easter period (weather, business activity & everyone enjoying the extended break), here are some activities coming up.
On Monday April 11 at 745am at Cedar Bar & Kitchen we have our next Chamber networking event. This will be an informative and interesting presentation by two very experienced mediators working in the local region offering services in dispute resolution.
Paul Hemphill is a long standing CPA with a Masters in Dispute Resolution and John Rosley is a solicitor who became a mediator in the belief that there is a better way to deal with conflict than going to court.
We all have skirmishes along the way, so come and hear from some experts how to avoid the expensive end of the legal process and employ some trusted ways to seek an alternative resolution path. $10 members and $15 non members.RSVP (for catering): firstname.lastname@example.org
A new networking concept that we have now committed to, is to have the Board available after each Board meeting for any member to catch up for an informal chat, discuss a particular issue or just simply put some faces to names. The Board meets every third Thursday of the month at the Old Butter Factory (so next one is April 21) and our meetings finish around 845am, so please feel free to drop in. Its informal, so no RSVP required & some of us will be there till around 9am.
Other events in the calendar pipeline include – energy procurement (how we can pull together a Chamber member buying group to secure some of the sizable discounts available from energy retailers); digitization in commerce, a conversation with Southern Cross Austero; how to access training and employment funds, a conversation with our local training and employment agencies; what’s happening in the local real estate market, a conversation with our leading Real Estate Agents and Council’s Strategic Planner; and if we do have an early federal election, then our very successful ‘meet the candidates’ event will be quickly plugged into the calendar.
Finally the joint initiative between the Shire’s three Chambers of a new website designed to connect businesses, visitors, residents and community groups in our region is gathering a lot of momentum towards its July launch. The site aims to be a reference point for information and communication on what is happening in our area, encouraging local commerce, activities for visitors and ways to connect to other people in our community. The website will have listings and links for:
• Businesses – in a comprehensive directory that will include retail, food, home-based and trades listings to encourage buying local and local commerce wherever possible
• Events – a comprehensive annual listing of all events across the Shire (this will align with the work now being undertaken in the Events Hub run out of Council’s Visitor Information Centre)
• Places to Stay – whilst a comprehensive listing, it will look to support other listings and sites being undertaken within the Coffs Coast Tourism umbrella
• Community groups – providing a single point of reference and contact for such groups as support groups, service clubs, sporting clubs, youth services etc.
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks and in particular the opportunity for some local business people to partner with the Chambers to drive this initiative well into the future.
Bruce Levy (Lily Pily Country House)
President, Bellingen Chamber of Commerce
0414 615 890