The Bowral Chamber of Commerce was a small member based not-for-profit organisation in the Southern Highlands of NSW. It was competing with five other business chambers in the region. People made numerous attempts to amalgamate the chambers but failed.
- To unite the business community under one business chamber
- To develop alliances and affiliate partnerships to strengthen chamber member value and influence.
Methodology and Process
The scepticism of most stakeholders prevented change, and there were many sub self-interest groups who had their own agenda. To begin a dialog ‘what if’ scenario, workshops were facilitated over three months and during this period the following was implemented:
- Meet the presidents of the other chambers
- Address members of other chambers
- Review past restructure models
- W.O.T analysis
- Interview businesspeople who lived in the area for decades
- Met with senior lawyers from the NSW Business Chamber
- Discussions with the mayor and councillors of the local council.
Outcomes & Key Benefits
- The Southern Highlands Chamber of Commerce Ltd (SHCCI Ltd) was founded on December 09, 2013, a milestone for the region.
- Four chambers were merged, and the fifth became an affiliate member.
- Direct and indirect business membership grew to five hundred and thirty-five. Strategic alliances were developed, and affiliate member organisations joined. The size of the organization gave greater member benefits and influence.
- SHCCI Ltd won ‘2015 State Chamber of the Year Award’ surpassing two hundred and seventy business chambers. This created a record for the NSW Business Chamber’s one-hundred-and-ninety-year history.
- The model developed by SHCCI Ltd was duplicated by the Lake Macquarie Business Chamber and used for their region.
- The SHCCI Ltd structure was recommended by the governing body of the NSW Business Chamber Ltd. It was seen as the model for all business chambers.
Questions? – Contact Kurt Newman +61 412 252 236 or [email protected]