The St George Business Chamber has outlined a number of strategies to grow the influence of local businesses in 2018.
The moves were announced at the chamber’s annual general meeting held at the St George Business Chamber office at Hurstville this morning.
The annual general meeting saw Allan Zreik re-elected unopposed as president. Tony Baddour was elected vice-president, Carlos Zeidan secretary and Tak Li as treasurer.
Mr Zreik announced the formation of a new Business Development Committee which will comprise prominent business leaders of the St George business community and four executive members of the chamber.
“We are currently in talks with a select group of business people with further announcements likely to be made once talks, with those nominated, accept their appointments in the next few weeks,” Mr Zreik said.
“The chamber is making this move to create an independent platform for business leaders to voice their opinions and put forward suggestions for creating new business opportunities within the greater St George business community.
“While there have been Economic Development Committees, from various organisations in the past, representation of the wider business community has been mostly limited,” he said.
Mr Zreik said the committee would develop a master plan of business development targets, after consulting with key stakeholders and the putting a schedule together to turn those plans into a reality.
The chamber is also forming a number of new sub-committees, each representing suburban clusters, which would be able to focus, and swiftly address, local business issues when they arose in their areas.
Sub-committees have already been formed in Kogarah, Lugarno and Mortdale, with more planned.
“Each sub-committee will hold monthly meetings to mine down into local business issues,” Mr Zreik said.
“The Chair of each sub–committee will then table the minutes of these discussions at Executive Committee meetings, complete with suggested solutions, and these will then form part of the overall Chamber agenda,” Mr Zreik said.
“It is through these sub-committees that we will be rolling out the St George Business Development Committee’s Masterplan in the New Year, with the first meeting expected to be held in early February,” he said.
Vice-president Tony Baddour reported that chamber membership was up 29 per cent on the previous year.
“We have a few key initiatives which will blow that number out of the water,” he said.
Banks MP David Coleman, who was a guest at the annual general meeting, congratulated the chamber on its progress during the past year.
“It’s been really notable, especially in the past 12 months the emerging strength of the chamber, particularly with the number of forums, meetings and workshops.”
He said it was important that business, especially small business, has a structured way to put their case forward through entities such as the chamber.
“Now that Hurstville and Kogarah have come together they are up there in the top 20 shopping locations in Sydney,” he said.