2022 Year in review


As we approach our AGM on Thursday 10 November 2022 we look back at the past 12 months to see what the Chamber has achieved. Below is a summary of the key activities.

Far South Coast Business Awards
The Merimbula Chamber of Commerce are very honoured to be recognised as Finalists in the recent Far South Coast Business Awards. The awards are run by Business NSW and recognise growth, entrepreneurship and celebrates business success from across Eurobodalla, Bega Valley and the Southern Tablelands. The Outstanding Local Chamber Award recognises the achievements of a Local Chamber of Commerce in supporting its members to maximise their business potential.

Town Centre Planning Workshop
The workshop objectives were to work with Council to contemporise aspects from the 2014 Spiire Master plan, to identify a number of key elements that could be activated with existing funding and also create new visions for three major precincts at Hylands Corner, Market St and Beach St. It was funded by the Federal and State Governments. One of the key outcomes is a Tree Planting Project $40K – jointly funded by Merimbula Special Events Committee

Merimbula Jobs Drive
The Chamber partnered with the Illawarra South Coast Local Jobs Program, TAFE, employment service providers and other industry experts are coming together to run a Jobs Drive throughout October including 3 major events

Merimbula Thaw Festival
We hosted the Thaw Festival which focused on getting seasonal workers leaving the snowy mountains after winter to come down, Thaw out and party with 3 events over 3 days.

Bega Valley Accommodation for Workers
We established a Facebook group to link workers looking for accommodation to people with available space.

TV ads in partnership with Merimbula Tourism
In partnership with Merimbula Tourism we developed a series of TV commercials featuring over 20 local businesses. The commercials were screened in regional Victoria

Merimbula Tennis Club Tournament
We provided sponsorship and support of the event which brought over 140 players to town from Canberra, along the coast to Wollongong and South to Gippsland and Melbourne

Triumph Car Club rally
The Chamber provide support of the event organisers which brought over 100 cars to the area and the groups spent 4 days the traveling around the region, driving through various towns and villages and enjoying all the Far South Coast has to offer. Their visit is expected to bring about $200,000 into the local economy.

Sponsorship of Winter Sun event
WinterSun Festival is a celebration of the Sapphire Coast’s capital of adventure tourism, with Merimbula playing host to this three day event.

• Submission to council about proposed Market St Development
Held public forum, undertook public survey, created submission for council

• Council Public Land Use policy
Made deputation to the BVSC about changing it’s policy to charge NFP groups a PLU fee of over $700 every time they use public land

Summer Twilight Markets
Ran markets designed to create a festive holiday feel by activating the Beach Street area of Merimbula during the holiday period. This concept was identified at the Merimbula Town Summit as a way of bringing life back in to town at a time when there isn’t much happening.

Christmas 2022 Decorations and events
The Chamber invested thousands of dollars and countless hours into decorating the town for Christmas including setting up the massive Christmas Tree, Santa’s sleigh and workshop and decorations adorning the main street shops. With the support of other local organisations have invested over $40,000 in to Christmas decorations in the last 3 years

The Essence Launches another new business
Just 15 months after opening, one of the vendors from the Essence left to open their own store. Jo Rangott from As you are Lifestyle moved in to the store next door and expanded here range of Womens Clothing and beauty products.

The Essence TV Commercial
The Chamber owned store, The Essence, is a co-operative venture that supports 6 local small businesses. We invested in a TVC to promote the store as well as other promotions and advertising.

Supporting opening of other new businesses and filling of town shops
Provided support for local businesses looking to establish themselves in town and work with commercial land owners to fill their shops.

Small Business Month
Ran a workshop on Recruiting and retaining staff in tight labour markets. The workshop was been funded by the NSW government Small Business Month Grant initiative. This workshop was facilitated by Kelly Maher from Resources for Humans who is a human resources (HR) consultant, specialising in employee relations and complex case management

Help to tackle the housing supply issue
Worked with Council and other local stakeholders to help tackle the housing supply issue in the Bega Valley.