A newly-signed memorandum of understanding will facilitate a more collaborative approach to supporting Bathurst businesses.
On Tuesday, the Bathurst Business Chamber met with Bathurst Regional Council to sign the MOU, a document that outlines the responsibilities of the two bodies in achieving shared objectives.
The document took more than six months to devise before both parties landed on an agreed MOU.
Council’s manager for economic development, Steve Bowman, said the MOU was “a very big step for the chamber and council working more closely together”.
For council, one of the key outcomes that will stem from the MOU is having the business chamber more involved with its events, such as BizMonth and its regular welcome wagons.
“It really is a very symbolic signing of an important document that is a representation of the relationship between the chamber and council,” Mr Bowman said.
Two copies of the MOU had to be signed by mayor Graeme Hanger, council’s general manager David Sherley, Bathurst Business Chamber president Angus Edwards and the vice president, Catherine Fitzsimons.
“The MOU formalises the relationship between council and the chamber and sets out what all of us are going to do to promote businesses and the regional economy,” Mr Edwards said.
In recent history, the relationship between the two parties has been strained.
However, the MOU proves that the relationship has improved and that both the chamber and council are committed to collaborating for the benefit of businesses.
Broadly, council’s focus will be attracting new businesses, while the chamber will generally support existing businesses. They intend to combine their resources, where possible.
“[The MOU] sort of enables each of us to support each other in different roles,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
“We take an interest in what council is doing, while they are handing over more responsibility to the chamber for events, like BizMonth.”
Mr Edwards added, “I think playing to our strengths is really what this is about.”