NERA: Frank Pardon, Peter Chenoweth and Tony Riddle.
NERA: Frank Pardon, Peter Chenoweth and Tony Riddle.

Agreement to foster more business collaboration

THE inaugural Chamber Best Practice Forum held in Noosa has set the platform for more collaboration between small businesses across Queensland.

Hosted by CCIQ Noosa, with support from the state body the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland, the meeting of eight of the state's most progressive chambers last week has been hailed a huge success.

The chamber representatives discussed best practice and shared their top initiatives. The ideas identified for future follow-up included high-level advocacy, business mentoring, non-traditional networking, understanding capabilities and revenue streams.

The chambers discussed the opportunity to leverage CCIQ's significant advocacy resources, becoming more "vocal" at a local level, building better relationships with all levels of government, and considering acting as a group on an issue-by-issue basis.

They agreed to continue to help each other at a grassroots level, meet regularly as a group and expand to include more of the other 120 chambers across Queensland.

One of the meeting convenors, CCIQ Noosa vice-president Peter Chenoweth, said the one-day forum had been extremely worthwhile.

"We all started building something very special," he said. "We established relationships, we shared knowledge, we built trust, and we agreed on ongoing collaboration. We welcome an historic new era of improved chamber best practice and enhanced chamber connectivity."

Valley Chamber of Commerce president Robin Maini said he applauded the "long-awaited collaboration".

Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive officer Leanne Layfield said: "We can learn a great deal from each other … there is no challenge that can't be overcome and no shortage of passion and enthusiasm from everyone around the room to assist our business communities."

CCIQ general manager of memberships and alliances Karen Fitzgibbons welcomed the forum.

"While local chambers of commerce are not for profit entities, it is essential they are financially viable and are run like a business," she said.

"Business owners are continually looking for ways to reduce their discretionary spend and competition is fierce so local chambers need to ensure they have a strong value proposition.

"The forum provided an avenue to review events and programs that have been successful in other locations.

"Discussing the challenges faced by local chambers was also useful in alleviating the geographical isolation felt by many."

Chambers

Maroochydore

Caloundra

Noosa

Mackay

Brisbane Bayside

North Lakes

Fortitude Valley

Toowoomba



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