Business Chamber forms

By Daniel Hughes

One single entity will now represent the interests of businesses within the Murrumbidgee Council.

Business Murrumbidgee was formed with the assistance of Murrumbidgee Council, and will consist of three chapters representing Coleambally, Darlington Point and Jerilderie.

Seed funding to aid in the amalgamation was provided by council, to assist with the employment of an executive officer and to aid in promotion, networking and development activities.

Mayor Ruth McRae said the new chapters and overarching Murrumbidgee Business will be important vehicles in bringing together businesses throughout the area, to allow for an exciting range of business development and economic activities.

Each chapter will be driven by volunteer committees in the community in which they operate.

‘‘Coleambally already has a strong Chamber of Commerce that has played an important role in assisting community groups to apply for funding,’’ Cr McRae said.

‘‘We are now calling on local businesses and community organisations in Darlington Point and Jerilderie to show interest in establishing a local chapter so they too can benefit from a chamber in their town.

‘‘Each town has their own unique strengths, however Business Murrumbidgee will be their collective voice. Once established, council will play a minor role in the operation and administration of the organisation.

‘‘Council has allocated $20,000 towards the proposal, which will be divided across the three chapters. It will be used to cover operating costs and the employment of a part-time executive officer.

‘‘The collaboration between the three towns will be a valuable way to support the growth of our business community, forge new networks and relationships, and also showcase the exceptional goods and services we have an offer in our area.

‘‘With businesses feeling the strain of COVID, as well as the drought, it’s more important than ever to have these opportunities.’’

Coleambally Chamber of Commerce chair Lynne Stuckings said the amalgamation in an exciting initiative that will have many benefits for local businesses across the Murrumbidgee area.

She said one of the biggest benefits will be the voice it gives to small businesses to reach all levels of government.

‘‘Another benefit will be the opportunity to run joint promotions. We have found this to have a great impact in Coleambally and will no doubt be advantageous to businesses right across the Murrumbidgee area,’’ Mrs Stuckings said.

It is anticipated Business Murrumbidgee will lead a number of joint initiatives, including promotional events, Buy Local gift cards, a business awards program, website with local directory of businesses, a joint event during Small Business Month in October and networking events.

‘‘Council has so far had excellent support from organisations in the area, including the Coleambally Chamber of Commerce, Business NSW (Murray-Riverina), and also businesses in Darlington Point and Jerilderie,’’ Cr McRae said.

‘‘It is anticipated the first meeting will be held in late August.’’

Businesses (including farming businesses) interested in being part of the Darlington Point or Jerilderie chapters can contact council’s economic development and tourism manager Kellie Dissegna on 0418 746 745 or by email at