After nearly four years in the role, I will be stepping down as Chamber CEO in May. It’s been an action-packed four years. Tauranga has been on a growth splurge. And in a very real way, local business has been riding the wave.
The Chamber’s role in all of this has been to be the cheerleader of business confidence and growth.
We also provide support to new and fledgling businesses in all kinds of ways, from making new connections to being the doorway for upskilling and other fantastic services like business mentors.
Much of what we offer is free, and open to every business in the Western Bay. Many people think we are some kind of government agency and funded accordingly but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Chamber, like every other chamber in New Zealand, is at heart a membership organisation. Our ability to operate comes straight from the annual dues that our members pay us. For a small business membership this amounts to little more than the cost of an average visit to the supermarket.
For that modest investment every year Chamber members get so much back. They not only become part of a recognised international network but directly support a local organisation that represents them and can fight for the issues that are important to local business prosperity. When times are good, it’s easy to take organisations like the Chamber for granted.
As I leave this role, I would like to invite every small business owner in Tauranga to take a fresh look at what the local Chamber can do for you.
-By Stan Gregec