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Tuesday 4 February 2020

Courtesy of Port News, 29 January 2020

While RFS, Defence Forces and other volunteers continue to help fight fires, saving lives and homes, other groups in the community have also suffered. Businesses have struggled during a normally busy tourist season and while things seem grim, local business chambers are looking at ways to overcome the setbacks.

Business Port Macquarie is aware of a downturn in visitors over the Christmas period with potential visitors concerned about fires. As a result general business has not been at the same levels of previous years. The Chamber realised early that these issues are best dealt with on a regional scale and has recently met with surrounding chambers to consider and coordinate actions going forward.

This has eventuated in meetings with local, State and Federal government members regarding solutions available through those avenues, and the Chamber will collaborate with agencies and keep the business community informed of available relief resources.

Last December, Business Port Macquarie combined forces with Hastings Business Women’s Network, Micro Business Forum, NSW Business Chamber, Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association, Camden Haven Chamber of Commerce and Wauchope Chamber of Commerce joined forces to host the 2019 Combined Networks Christmas Party and share some Christmas cheer with their members.

Over 140 guests attended the glittering event, held at the Mercure Centro, with all profits going towards supporting local RFS crews. RFS Public Liaison Officer, Stuart Robb, was on hand to receive the generous donation and accept the heartfelt thanks and applause for the work recently done by local crews in saving the community.

“Port Macquarie and the surrounding districts have been enduring smoke and fires since July. We are grateful to the business community for their support and guarantee the funds raised at this event will be of great assistance over the upcoming summer season,” he said.

In total the event raised $1,622.50 and included cash donations from guests, all profits from the Combined Network’s event and a very generous $295 cheque donation from the Hastings Business Women’s Network.

Most importantly, the Chamber is committed to letting the rest of NSW know that the Mid North Coast is open for business and welcome all neighbours to come and visit.

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