Greater connectivity and strengthened relationships with local government and business owners will serve as the Bathurst Business Chamber's key objectives in 2020.
The chamber recently met for their first meeting of the year, and president Catherine Fitzsimons said the board will look at ways to refresh the Keep It Local Bathurst campaign and strengthen ties with Bathurst Regional Council.
"We want to promote an environment for businesses in Bathurst to be successful, and we have to stress the key role shopping locally plays in fostering local confidence," Ms Fitzsimons said.
"To do this successfully, we need to maintain a constructive relationship with council, as the chamber serves as that vital link between businesses and local government."
The local business sector has faced a variety of challenges over the last few years, including drought, competition from the online market and, more recently, the impact of the NSW bushfires.
Ms Fitzsimons said the challenges have predominantly affected local retailers, and would like to foster greater connections with key local retail identities.
"We'd like to attract more representation from small businesses in the chamber, as they're the ones doing it the toughest," she said.
"The last thing we want to see is more empty shop fronts."
Vice president Stephen Harper said a more diverse representation of local businesses will allow the chamber to refine their approach towards advocacy.
"We're setting up a point of contact on our website for local businesses to submit strategies that have worked for them, so we can offer other businesses some food for thought," Mr Harper said.
"Each business has different needs and the more information we receive, the easier it is for us to formulate strategies."
The chamber host a series of events each year to bring local businesses together, including monthly engagement sessions, BizMonth and the Carillon Business Awards.
"Even in tough times, Bathurst is a resilient community when it comes to business," Ms Fitzsimons said.
For more information, visit www.bathurstbusiness.com.au.