New Vision for Merimbula
Merimbula has faced some incredible challenges over the last 6 months, first with fires and then with Covid. The Chamber has been here all the way through it advocating on behalf of our members, providing support, resources and leadership.
The Chamber committee has decided that we need to take a more long term, strategic approach to things and over the next 6-12 months we will be embarking on some major projects as detailed below.
- Holding a Place Making Summit
The summit will bring together stake holders to discuss the future of our town, to create a new vision for the town centre, and to re-imagine what our town and our businesses look like.
- Setting up and running a ‘Collective” style retail store
The Chamber is looking to negotiate a head lease on a retail store and then sublease it to a number of small local businesses. It is based on a model similar to this one in Gerringong. (Grant application pending)
- Setting up a retail space for local Artists
Similar to the above concept but specifically targeting artists and perhaps creating a space for them to paint as well (Grant application pending)
- Run a Seachange Expo
The expo will target people looking to relocate to regional areas to live. It will feature a wide range of providers including representatives from Education facilities, employment groups, health care, sporting groups, volunteer organisations, housing and government bodies. It will highlight the local businesses, services and natural assets that make our area a great place to live. (Grant application approved)
- A plan to grow local major events
We are currently working with a number of organisations and looking for further funding to grow existing events and create new events in the area. This will not only improve visitation but create better experiences for our locals. We have already helped secure funding has for an event co-odinator for the Bega Valley Shire and other grant applications are pending.
Extra human resources
As you can see we have some big plans for the next 12 months, and whilst we have some of the financial resources we need, we still need more human resources and that is why we have decided to appoint a Business Development Manager to work on these projects. The BDM will be employed by the Chamber on a contract basis, partially funded from existing finances, with the rest being covered by grant applications currently in place, or still pending. We believe this is an important investment into our business community and this will help us deliver our ambitious plans.
The BDM role will be filled by the current Chamber President, Nigel Ayling and he will also continue in the role as President as well. The 2 roles have already been split and the BDM role will commence from July 1 and run initially for 4 months and which time it will be reevaluated.
We are also on the look out for a new committee member to fill the position left by the outgoing Treasurer. The new person does not need to have financial skills, as we can move them into another role, they just need to have the time and motivation to be able to help.
Stay tuned for more information about all of these projects as we begin to role them out over the next 6-12 months. Of course if you would like to get involved in any of the projects, we are always looking for people to help out and we will be setting up new sub committee to work on these projects as they role out.
We are very excited about the future and look forward to sharing more with you