GEORGE NEWS - George Business Chamber 2018/2019 chairperson Dr Dennis Farrell did not let any grass grow under his feet at the Chamber's annual general meeting held on Thursday 17 May at the Town Lodge Garden Route Mall. He announced the Chamber's strategy which includes "becoming activists for business".
He said the time has come for local companies to be considered for all local tenders as the knowledge and skills are here in George. Farrell has been acting chairperson since 1 March when Dr Willie Cilliers resigned as chair to take up the reins of the AHI Western Cape.
"Over the latter part of last year we focused on reviewing the strategy with the primary purpose of determining focus areas to ensure we achieve unlocking an inclusive economy. This resulted in the George Business Chamber initiating the 'Town Hall session' hosted by the George Municipality's Local Economic Development department. The outcome of this has built relationships across George for us to address the economic challenges and opportunities of the various communities."
He said previously, the primary priority was entrepreneurial education. "We have refocused to ensure we cover the full spectrum of the business value chain, including small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), large business, corporates locally and nationally, as well as local and district authorities.
"Our strategy has been published on the chamber's web site and we deem this as a live document which we will update and report on as we progress. Our sole purpose for existence is to create meaningful networking opportunities, grow a sustainable economy, to be activists for business, and to facilitate business opportunities."
In his outgoing chairperson's report Cilliers said, "As the chairperson of the AHI Western Cape I have the mandate to provide added value to the business chambers as well as small business entrepreneurs in the province. My involvement with the George Business Chamber since 2008, first with the finances, later as part of management, and then as the chairperson from 2013 was indeed an exciting time and it was an honour to serve you as member of the greater Eden District community. I thank you and look forward to the new era of cooperation with the AHi Western Cape."
The new executive committee members of the George Business Chamber are as follows: vice-chairperson Brenda Vorster, director/treasurer Henry Grobler, director Nadia Abrahamse, Corné Nunns, Elna Schwartz, Elsie Harmse, Fuad Choonara, Irene Koegelenberg, Ivor Claasen, Dr John Beneke, Michelle Cawood-van Vuuren, Pedro Oliphant, Martin Reimann and Ayanda Msomi. Keith Sharpe was welcomed by Vorster as a newly appointed director to the board.
Getting economy back on track
The guest speaker, vice-president of the SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry Adv Mtho Xulu, said it will take a long time for the South African economy to be rebuilt. "However, we have excellent business people in our country who could and should play a much bigger role in the economic development of the country."
The next chamber event is the Morning Market at Carmel Guest Farm on Tuesday 5 June, starting at 07:30. On Thursday 21 June, Fancourt will host the chamber networking evening at 17:30.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'