Following a successful town summit in Merimbula, the Bega Valley Shire Business Forum has received a $250,000 government grant to roll out the idea to other shire towns.
The funding is provided by Resilience NSW under the Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF).
The BVSBF represents the combined Chambers of Commerce including Bermagui, Cobargo, Bega, Tathra, Merimbula, Pambula and Eden. The forum has been operating for over 20 years, and the committee is made up with a representative from each of the chambers.
This funding will cover the cost of each chamber to run a town summit, similar to the one held by Merimbula Chamber earlier this year.
The summits - which will need to meet funding guidelines - will be designed to bring all the local stakeholders together in each town, to discuss issues, recovery and resilience projects, come up with a solutions and create a priority list of actions for each town.
This allows each chamber to engage with their local members, business and community and to come together to work out what they want done and advance projects to the next stage.
"The Merimbula Town Summit was a great success. We had over 120 people there over two days discussing all the issues and working on solutions," BFSBF chairman and Merimbula Chamber president Nigel Ayling said.
"We have now created a 10 point action plan and are working towards implementing some of the solutions.
"Some of them are short term and some are long term, but at least now we have a plan that the whole community is behind."
As well as each town chamber running an event, the BVSBF will hold an event at the shire level to discuss issues with effect the whole region.
"Obviously each town has their own local issues, but as a shire we share a number of issues, like the lack of housing, and the need for more industry so we can create more jobs, and retain more youth in the area," Mr Ayling said.
"About half of the funding is aimed at identifying the issues and the other half is put aside for dealing with some of the issues.
"While it won't be enough to undertake all of the work identified it will help us achieve some of the work and we can work with each level of government to undertake the appropriate works and also apply for other funding as well."
The forum will be looking to engage a project manager to manage the process, working with the each of the chambers, the funding agency and providers to ensure they get the desired results.
The BVSBF will be rolling out the summits over the year and communicating through each of the chambers, so local businesses and community that want to be involved in the process should contact their local Chamber of Commerce.
For further information visit the Bega Valley Business Facebook Group.
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