It has been encouraging to see the increased energy and activity in many of our business sectors and communities over this past month, especially so in our retail and hospitality sectors which have been struggling for so long. However, there are still major sectors being impacted by the lack of visitors, tourism and significant sports and other seasonal events. We cannot afford to be complacent in our day to day lives in dealing with the ongoing threat of potential community exposure from a virus carrier or an infected person. WA has much to be thankful for in containing our exposure and limiting the risks associated with COVID 19 in our communities.
The consequences and impacts on many of our business communities and our lifestyles due to the COVID 19 Pandemic over past months have precipitated a sequence of economic circumstances, interventions and challenges that we have never experienced before. These circumstances have created several new opportunities for us to review and reshape the economy and local business environment that we operate in, with many industries working on the road to recovery plans with our State and Local Leaders.
Think Local – Being Local – Staying Local – Supporting Local – The term local has many faces, depending on where you are located or how you define your market. Irrespective of this, there is a great opportunity for us to revisit our national capability and readiness to provide for ourselves in emergency situations and in times of restricted market stress, or to secure the availability of critical and essential supplies. The BGCCI is driven to preference, promote, support and provide local content programs with the primary focus on our Bunbury Geographe Region and then on our South West Region.
We embrace the Federal initiatives and economic stimulus packages that have been provided and welcome the recent release of our State’s $5.5 billion WA Recovery Plan which is focussed on delivering long-term economic and social outcomes and getting West Australians back to work. This investment is targeted at creating thousands of local jobs in important sectors such as construction and manufacturing, mining, agriculture, tourism and hospitality, education and training, and the renewable energy and conservation sectors. Our Premier has stated that “The WA Recovery Plan will help drive the economic and social recovery across the State, to ensure we recover, stronger than ever.”
The combined Business Associations and Industry Leaders will need to champion this economic recovery agenda and map our paths to deliver both short term and longer-term solutions to strengthen and enhance our primary industries and develop the potential local secondary industry manufacturing and processing opportunities that are currently being conducted offshore. The need to build our National Pride and Resilience and for our Think Local – Stay Local – Grow Local – Build and Produce Local – Support Local – Buy Local campaigns to take traction and succeed has never been more important and relevant.
Activity at the Chamber is returning to normal. Our meeting rooms have become very popular and our Video Conferencing facilities have also been well utilised.
Our events calendar for the end July was also very busy with the JTSI Communication Forum which was supported by the Chamber. Our regular Business after hours was hosted by DPIRD Food Industry Innovation and was another Covid restricted full house event. We also hosted the City of Bunbury annual Budget Breakfast, the 2020/2021 budget was well received by the business community and we look forward to the COB playing their part in our recovery efforts.
Don’t forget about our BGCCI AGM on the 19th of August and we encourage you to nominate for a position on the Executive Committee.
President Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry
31 July 2020