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Chamber resurrection to help businesses

Friday, 20th September, 2019

Foundation Broken Hill’s Executive Officer Prue Sulicich and Working Alliance Group’s (an off-shoot of 25in25) Karren Howe are working on a funding grant to secure a business co-ordinator for the Chamber of Commerce. PICTURE: Emily McInerney Foundation Broken Hill’s Executive Officer Prue Sulicich and Working Alliance Group’s (an off-shoot of 25in25) Karren Howe are working on a funding grant to secure a business co-ordinator for the Chamber of Commerce. PICTURE: Emily McInerney

By Emily McInerney

The Chamber of Commerce is set to reopen thanks to the hard work of local groups.

Foundation Broken Hill had recently been gifted the Chamber of Commerce.

The Foundation, together with the 25in25 group, want to use it as a hub for businesses in Broken Hill.

Working Alliance Group’s (an off-shoot of the 25in25 group) Karren Howe and Foundation Broken Hill’s Prue Sulicich said it was an aim of theirs to see the Chamber reopened.

“Keeping in line with our objectives, we want to turn the Chamber of Commerce into a hub for business and innovation,” Mrs Sulicich said.

“We want it to be a building to provide business support; for whatever businesses are upcoming in Broken Hill.”

Mrs Howe said there was realisation among the groups; that there was nowhere to offer support for businesses.

“We want to offer a service similar to the Country Universities Centre,” she said.

“Hopefully that would offer the same facility but for business.

“We would create a hub that would have all the facilities that business owners could access.

“It can be hard working from home and trying to find support.”

They said it would be something that could be utilised by businesses passing through town, freelancers or small business operators.

“It would create an ability to network and have connectivity,” Mrs Howe said.

As well as this, they are looking to get funding for a part-time co-ordinator to be based at the Chamber to assist business people.

They are applying through the Stronger Country Communities Fund - with an application currently in progress.

“In the grand scheme of things, this is our first step,” Mrs Sulicich said.

“We would be able to link in with other centres around the state.

“And people would know they don’t have to work in an isolated region or be isolated.”

Mrs Howe said the technological possibilities were endless.

“Running a business is hard at the moment, we want to provide somewhere that offers support and focus.”

Now that the Chamber is closed, Foundation Broken Hill often gets business owners coming in looking for help.

“We try to help as much as we can, but every week a business comes in looking for support,” Mrs Sulicich said.

“The Foundation wants to ensure that new businesses remain successful and help Broken Hill into the future.”

Mrs Howe said it was also important to provide support for existing businesses.

“We are also working in conjunction with Regional Development Australia Far West and City Council,” she said.

“They have the same objectives as us.”

A poll will be going up on Facebook to see how interested people are in the issue.

Both Mrs Sulicich and Mrs Howe encouraged locals to go on and vote.

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