Originally written by JAN LEISHMAN
A REGIONAL Business Association could become a reality following a consultation process with Hamilton businesses over the potential for an association.
Tourism Hamilton’s StreetLife project has received funding for a second year from the Victorian Government, and will now focus on building on its achievements from the first 12 months.
Under guidance from project co-ordinator, Peter Fraser, the project will be expanded by growing Tourism Hamilton to become a business group for all Hamilton and district firms.
Forming a regional business association was a key aim of year two and the project wanted to attract membership from all sectors of the business community within the shire, Mr Fraser said.
An extensive consultation process will be undertaken including interviews and workshops with businesses. Feedback will provide valuable information into the strategic plan that will be the outline for future growth.
A committee has been established under the leadership of Bill Sharp to drive the process. Members include Kate Fraser (manager, AJW Fraser), Jan Franklin (partner, Kerr and Co Real Estate), Deb Howcroft (co-ordinator, professional development Centre, RMIT Hamilton), Gerard Lucas (general manager, The Spectator), Bill Luke (economic development and tourism manager, Southern Grampians Shire), Tim Neeson (small business assistance officer, Greater Green Triangle ACC), Colin Thompson (accountant, WHK Archer Group) and Michael Woodward (proprietor, Hamilton Laundry and Dry Cleaners).
The project will also offer training for businesses as well as continuing with the online training offered in year one, which Small Business Minister, Marsha Thomson, launched earlier this year.
A bi-monthly newsletter will be distributed to keep all members informed of current and future activities, and a membership kit to encourage businesses to join the association. There will also be regular meetings that will cover a wide range of information pertinent to the success of businesses as a whole.
Mr Fraser said there had already been enthusiastic support from Southern Grampians Shire, RMIT staff and the Greater Green Triangle ACC. Surveys and meetings are expected to be held during October and November for all interested businesses.
Any business interested in becoming involved in Tourism Hamilton or to find out how this progressive group can help their business should contact Peter Fraser on 0439 712 482 or through RMIT on 5572 0526 on Friday each week.