Well 2015 is already well underway so I hope that all our business friends have had a great Christmas/New Year season. Certainly judging from the level of my business and from conversations with other hospitality enterprises and traders around town, that season was a strong one for many. No doubt the weather played its part and it was particularly kind of it to keep the rains away until the fantastic crowds of Camp Creative had been and gone.
So with 2015 moving forward the chamber board has been active in mapping out the year. We are just in the process of locking down our first series of events, the first being a breakfast on Wednesday, February 18 at the Bellingen Valley Lodge.
With the NSW state election less than two months away, we have organised for local businesses to meet and hear from some of the Oxley candidates – the Greens’ Carol Vernon, Country Labor’s Fran Armitage and the Nationals’ Melinda Pavey. Each candidate will present their vision for small business, and answer questions.
Come along to hear what the candidates are offering, and to let them know what really matters to you.
The next event will be an intimate discussion with council’s general manager Liz Jeremy, economic and business development manager Michael Grieve and assets management and design manager Phil Buchan.
Liz will talk about some of the big picture issues and challenges she sees ahead for council, including the State Government’s ‘Fit for the Future’ initiative.
Michael will discuss the Economic Development Plan, the Small Business Friendly program and what’s happening in the tourism sector between Bellingen and Coffs.
Phil will talk about the new master planning he has just launched on parking, pedestrian and vehicle traffic management in the town.
These meaty topics are to be discussed at an event in March – details shortly.
An enormous coup for Bello is the recently announced Bello Winter Music festival by the team behind the hugely successful Mullum Music Festival. Glen Wright, the founder of the Mullum event has been in discussion with the chamber and a number of local people over the past months as he worked through the idea.
Glen will release more details as his plans rollout up to the launch in July. But what excites me (and I have spoken to the Mullum Chamber just to hear their experiences first hand) is that this event is community based and focused. It supports local businesses, local artists and can be an economic boost to our town that many local communities could only dream about!
We at the Chamber cannot claim any special kudos for this exciting development – in the end its Glen’s decision and we have respected that all through his process, but boy are we ready to help this event join with the other great music and community events we have on our town’s calendar as collectively they play a huge role in keeping our community vibrant, connected, sustainable and just a special place to be. So time to stop for a moment for a ‘high-five’, but now it’s on with 2015 so I hope to see you at one of our events shortly.
BRUCE LEVY PRESIDENT