The following article was originally published Wednesday Feb 8 2017 by The St George & Sutherland Shire Leader. The following text has been captured using computer software and may not be 100% accurate. You can download a high resolution scan of the original publication HERE.
THERE will be a "direct and robust" conversation between St George Business Chamber and Georges River Council following a signing of a Memorandum of Agreement by both organisations. The agreement covers the key responsibilities and obligation.s of the council and the chamber to each other. Georges River Council administrator John Rayner said the agreement commits to council to supply the chamber with $30,000 a year for the next five years and provide a dedicated office space at the Hurstville Civic Centre. "This is to assist the chamber in developing programs and events that support the business community in the Georges River local government area," Mr Rayner said. The chamber will host at least eight events in each financial year, one which will be jointly hosted with the council that updates local businesses about the council's plans and policies for the local area. St George Business Chamber president Allan Zreik said the more direct communication with the council can only be a good thing for business. "We will meet once a month to hear the concerns of local business and take them directly to the council:' Details of the timetable of events is being finalised and will include workshops and a minimum of four education events, some in partnership with federal of state government authorities such as the Australian Tax Office, NSW Business Chamber and Business Enterprise Centre of Southern Sydney. Georges River Council general manager Gail Connolly said one of the events will see the council host a "State of the Union"· report card on the local government area at the end of each financial year profiling the health of the local economy and development, economic and business activity over the past financial year. Other events will include involvement in Back to Business Week (February 26 to March 4), a state government initiative to celebrating local small and medium businesses. The chamber will also host a networking event, an entrepreneur's breakfast and information sessions for businesses. Ms Connolly said under the agreement the council will make staff available at the chamber's office to advise businesses on a range of issues, from how to fill out a Development Application to organising an inspection of food premises. "We are cutting out the middle man and providing direct, accurate advice from the council to businesses;' she said. The council will provide information on grants available to'tocal businesses. "It will be a much more direct and robust conversation with the council and business than we have had in the past;' she said.