Chamber’s long record of business aid

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Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
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Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry members at a recent Business After Hours event.
Camera IconCollie Chamber of Commerce and Industry members at a recent Business After Hours event. Credit: Picture: Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry

The Collie Chamber of Commerce and Industry is celebrating 80 years supporting and engaging with the town’s business community.

The Chamber has members in the health and beauty, hospitality and tourism, professional services, retail and trades industries and acts as a place for business owners to grow and learn from each other.

Chamber vice-president Julie Hillier has seen both sides of the organisation, as a member of the executive and business owner, and believes its ability to evolve has been a driver of its success.

“Making sure we are servicing our members and delivering the services that they want us to is important and we are actually refreshing that to make sure we stay relevant,” she said.

“It is important that we stay relevant to businesses and particularly in tighter times, business are probably reviewing what they are paying for so we want to make sure they are getting value for that membership.

“I think the Chamber has evolved and matured with the context that it operates in and it is a real nod to the resilience of the business community in Collie and a real nod to people who run businesses here that they are willing to give up their own time in executive roles to progress the Chamber for the greater good.”

Ms Hillier said it was an exciting time for Collie and for the Chamber as the town continued its transition and thanked all the volunteers involved.

“Like all regional chambers we are heavily reliant on an executive committee that is voluntary and is made up of different sectors of the business community so I think the resilience, the ongoing maturity, making sure we are relevant and the willingness of the community to step up and take on those leadership roles on behalf of business has pulled it all together,” she said.

“It is a really exciting time for the Chamber and the role it can play in this exciting time for Collie.

“I think we are growing a strong relationship with our regional counterparts as well and we are going from strength to strength.

“That is why it is there 80 years later.”

WA Regional Chambers chief executive Kitty Prodonovich said the Chamber’s engagement with its members over eight decades was impressive.

“It is a pretty impressive milestone,” she said.

“We have 45 regional chambers of commerce as members and the majority are between 40 and 60 years old, so there are not many that have got to 80.

“It is a real indication of the strength of the business community and of how valuable the Chamber is.

“Having a dynamic, active and functioning Chamber of Commerce and Industry is vital for regional business communities and we saw when COVID first started to hit, it was completely evident because people turned to their local chambers, and the Collie Chamber was just outstanding in how they supported their business communities.

“Businesses need to have a voice, they need to have a place where they can connect and they also need a place they can get information.

“What we love about the Collie Chamber is that they are a very active member of the RCCIWA, they are always asking us for information, support and connection, so they can support their own members.

“I also like how flexible they have been over the years in delivering different services, support and care for all the businesses in their community, not just their members.”

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