Bellingen Chamber of Commerce

Weekly news from the Bellingen Chamber – 29 June 2020

29 Jun

Business link-up – Wednesday 1 July

This week will be an opportunity for business owners to connect and talk about their plans for the new financial year, what lies ahead and what we’ve learned from our experiences over the last few months.
I will be back in the chair after a short break and look forward to catching up with you all!
To join the meeting click here just before 8am, or to join by phone call 02 8015 6011 and enter the meeting ID 558 434 683 (if you have trouble getting into the meeting, email Hilary <> and she will invite you from within the meeting).
At least week’s meeting, Michael Grieve talked about economic plans for the Shire. Please take this short survey to have your say on how Council spends the $145,000  allocated for economic stimulus projects. Chamber member Ellie May Tree has some interesting thoughts about the proposed projects; here is her letter to Michael Grieve, recently posted to our Members FB page, is attached (with Ellie’s permission).


Annual membership renewals now due

This is the time of year when we ask members to renew their annual memberships. Although we recognise that this has not been a normal year in any way, we are asking you to renew your membership now, so that the Chamber can remain financially viable and continue working strongly on your behalf. The invoice that has been sent out has an attachment that summarises our focus and achievements over the past year.
We are aware that lots of businesses have been challenged over recent months, and we are happy to talk to you about individual arrangements that mean your membership of the Chamber can continue. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help.
We will not be raising our fees this year, even though membership fees have not increased in at least the last 6 years and remain extremely low (equivalent to $10/month).
For those of you who have joined the Chamber as affiliate members in recent months, your membership will continue for the time being. We are in the process of reviewing our membership fee structure and we expect to announce a new tiered membership structure soon.
I hope that you find value in your membership of the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce. We are here to support individual businesses and to promote the sustainable development of our local economy. A strong local economy contributes to a strong community.
The Chamber has a long history of supporting businesses in Bellingen and we’re proud to be part of that tradition. We thought you would like to see this photo of the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce c1895 (from the Coffs Harbour Regional Museum). This makes the Chamber of Commerce older even than our local council, which was established in 1906!

Invitation to all the creative arts – and the artists who make it happen

An ‘Arts Week’ is planned for Bellingen Shire, from 10–17 January 2021 (when Camp Creative would normally have been held). We invite you to:

  • Display your 2D & 3D work in shopfronts, libraries, information centres and cafes in Bellingen, Urunga and Dorrigo and the surrounding areas.
  • Arrange and run your own workshops, performances or other events.
  • Open your studio to visitors.
  • Support the local galleries who will be exhibiting.
  • Join in if you are a musician, writer, actor or filmmakers.

If you would like to be involved, contact


Meet the members – Libby Park

What is your business?

Jamie and I own the Bellingen Kitchen Shop, which we have now owned for five years. The business has been operating in Bellingen, originally in the Old Church where Cedar Bar now is, for more than 20 years. We have put our own stamp on the shop, focusing on the quality of our products, good customer service and fair prices. Our philosophy is that we should all be making thoughtful choices about the products that we buy – we don’t sell anything that we think will end up in landfill.

How did you come to start your business?

Good question! We always enjoyed a visit to the kitchen shop from when we first started coming to Bellingen, and when the opportunity to buy the business came up, we couldn’t resist.
Jamie is a civil engineer and my background is in human resources management. My career has been quite varied and included 14 years working for David Jones in Sydney. This was a special experience and aligns with the values that have for our business now. Jamie’s experience as a civil engineer has translated into a fascination with the technical aspects of many of our products!

How long have you been in Bellingen?

We first started visiting Bellingen in 2010, and fell in love with it. We moved here from Sydney a couple of years later and haven’t regretted it!

What prompted you to join the Chamber of Commerce? Tell us a bit about the role of president.

I joined the board of the Chamber of Commerce in November 2016 because I believe that business owners need to work together to promote the whole of the local economy. It seemed like a good way to support the development of our own business as well as contributing to the community. This was at a time when I was working full time as a human resources manager and helping Jamie in the shop at weekends.
I certainly wasn’t anticipating taking on the role of president, but in June 2017 the previous president stepped down and I was asked to take over. In the past 12 months I have been able to devote more time to the role, which has been important given the many challenges that businesses have been experiencing, first with the bushfires and now with COVID. We have a strong diverse board and have grown our membership by 30% over the past year. As we continue to demonstrate the value and relevance of membership of the Chamber of Commerce, we expect that growth to continue.
Being president is quite a responsibility and I do take it very seriously – but I also say at times that if anyone wishes to mount a coup and take over, then please go right ahead!