In the digital age, good old fashioned face-to-face networking remains vital for businesses wanting to flourish. Chambers of Commerce have been around for many years, and the Macarthur business chambers are keeping up with the times. They remain relevant and very important for their members.
The Macarthur chambers vary in size and the formality of their meetings, but they all offer the following advantages for their members:
• Opportunities to build relationships
• Dedicated networking events
• Educational speakers
• Advocacy for business
• Links to all areas of government
• Opportunities to advertise your business. Another benefit is access to the local chamber alliance program of the NSW Business Chamber, giving members direct access to entitlements. The NSW Business Chamber actively works to unify the chamber movement in Australia and strengthen the voice of business. The following is information about specific local chambers, and as they are all equally important in their local communities, I have listed them alphabetically.
Appin Chamber of Commerce
One of the smaller chambers at around 30 members, Appin has a diverse membership ranging from mining, industrial, professional, hospitality to a petting zoo. According to president Mick Zammit, “The Chamber has a simple core philosophy, Supporting the Community that Supports Us.” Mick added, “The main focus of our chamber is to lobby council and parliament for our region while we market and promote local businesses.”
This is a very active chamber that always looks to connect local businesses to the community. One initiative is a bi-monthly ‘Appin Chit Chat’ newsletter which includes member logos and contact details, this goes to all homes in the Appin region.
Camden Chamber of Commerce and Industry
According to President Maryann Strickling, “Camden Chamber aims to promote business and tourism in the area. Improving the economic environment relies on more than purely business to business interactions.” Maryann emphasised, “With approximately 70 active members reflecting the diversity of service, industry and retail provision within Camden, members dedicate time and resources to help the local community in a variety of ways.”
Chamber organises the Light Up Camden festival every November, this attracts thousands of people. Camden also participates in joint activities with other chambers and groups. Maryanne stressed, “Members, guests and the general public are welcome. Our monthly meetings have a casual ambience whilst being both educational and social.”
Campbelltown Chamber of Commerce
Campbelltown is one of the larger local chambers with more than 170 members and growing monthly. According to President Rick Fitzpatrick, “The chamber exists to provide valuable networking opportunities for its members. It also advocates on behalf of members, raising these issues with all levels of government.” Rick went on to say, “We attract quality speakers who can impart reasons for their success to our members.”
Chamber meetings are a great opportunity to build relationships with other business owners and to advertise their services or products to the members. When asked about the future Rick sees Campbelltown “Forging alliances with other Chambers and groups and having a significant advocacy role. Also, being the place where business owners are educated, entertained inspired and introduced to people who have achieved significant success.”
Ingleburn Business Chamber
Ingleburn has 45 members and is increasing each year. According to President Jim Jelich, “Ingleburn Business Chamber is a dynamic and progressive volunteer organisation. Its principal task is promoting and progressing Ingleburn as a major retail, commercial, industrial and residential centre.” Ingleburn is the only major centre between the regional cities of Campbelltown and Liverpool.
Ingleburn also actively attends meetings with the local state member as well as the executive of Campbelltown Council. Jim also proudly states, “Ingleburn is a truly sub-regional centre serving a vast and rapidly growing area. We look forward to helping to ensure that Ingleburn’s future far exceeds the expectations of its stakeholders.”
The Greater Narellan Chamber of Commerce
With over 210 members Narellan is the largest of the local chambers. According to President Maria Sapienza, “Narellan Chamber is a leader in recognising its growing region and strives to maintain the vision of its founders.” The monthly meeting focuses on bringing local businesses together to not only network and promote their businesses, but to also educate our business owners.
Maria pointed out, “We are proud of our strong financial position, it allows us to plan at least 12 months in advance, from who our speakers will be to which charities we support. We also hold the annual Christmas in Narellan event.” They also work with Camden Council and provide updates from council’s Economic Development Officer. Maria also added,
“We expect significant growth in our Local Government Association in the next 20 years.”
Macarthur has a number of excellent business chambers. Joining one or more of your local chambers is a wise investment for local business people to not only network but learn many of things to help you in business.