EAT AND GREET: (clockwise from left) Justin Lippiatt, Julie Williams, Garry Davison, Sharlene Makin, Sharon Hansen, Ben Riches and Scott Sutton, the new Chamber of Commerce board, introduced themselves to the business community at yesterday's breakfast.
EAT AND GREET: (clockwise from left) Justin Lippiatt, Julie Williams, Garry Davison, Sharlene Makin, Sharon Hansen, Ben Riches and Scott Sutton, the new Chamber of Commerce board, introduced themselves to the business community at yesterday's breakfast. Scott Kovacevic

Big plans ahead for Chamber of Commerce

COMMERCE is back in business, with the new Gympie Chamber of Commerce board introduced to a packed house at yesterday's breakfast at the Rattler's new cafe.

About 100 people were on hand to meet the new members who had taken positions on the board and to learn what was planned for the region's commercial future.

They were not disappointed, either, with plans in place to make chamber events regular and once more host Women in Business meetings.

Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Ben Riches
Gympie Chamber of Commerce president Ben Riches Scott Kovacevic

Chamber president Ben Riches said he was excited by the turnout, especially the sellout crowd who not only got their own taste of the Rattler Cafe's food but a swatch of business advice from Gympie traders who had built up their own empires.

"I've always wanted (a sellout crowd),” he said.

"I think it was amazing. Hopefully they walked away with some useful tips they can apply to their business.”

His own tip to traders was "evolve”, and it is one he is well underway to implementing with the chamber by seeking feedback on how to best fit their events into the community's schedule.

Mick McCarthy and Elaine Thomson at the Gympie Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
Mick McCarthy and Elaine Thomson at the Gympie Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Scott Kovacevic

"I think that the chamber can suit any size business, whether it's a start-up right through to massive businesses.”

And the door was still open for more to join, which came with a perk or two.

"You do get a heavily discounted ticket, or a free ticket, to those events,” Mr Riches said.

Jess Riches, Nikki Leis and Julie Williams at the Gympie Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
Jess Riches, Nikki Leis and Julie Williams at the Gympie Chamber of Commerce Breakfast Scott Kovacevic

"We encourage everyone to come along and see what we're doing.

"We're very like minded and a very passionate group of people and we've got really big plans.”

Gympie Times


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