This month’s Drive For The Future Forum has the town’s peak business body, the Cootamundra Development Corporation (CDC), getting back to basics.
The forum was hosted by the CDC and created to develop a clear direction for the future of the town’s economic landscape.
Experienced facilitator, Mick Harper, from Temora led the session attended by about 18 people while Shadow Minister for Small Business Jenny Aitchison sat in to listen to what is coming out of the Cootamundra community.
CDC Chairman John Stephens said they were re-assured that the CDC is seen as a useful entity by businesses.
He said looking ahead the CDC wants to return to their core function of servicing businesses.
“We felt that we had become more community-oriented, rather than business-focussed,” Mr Stephens said.
“We need to get back on track supporting businesses, but that in turn supports the community,” he continued.
While initiatives such as Wattle Time and late-night trading in the Christmas lead-up drive business, particularly in the retail and hospitality sectors, Mr Stephens said these functions must become complementary to what the CDC does rather than a main focus of staff and board members.
In boosting what they can do for businesses, Mr Stephens is suggesting a resurrection of ‘Business After Hours’ where businesspeople gather informally to network and share ideas.
He is also advocating an increased online and social media presence for businesses, beginning with the CDC who will look to utilise tools such as Facebook events.
“Businesses need a voice to represent them and we need to make sure we are being that voice to the best of our ability,” Mr Stephens said.
With a fresh outlook, the CDC is hoping to increase membership.
A meeting will be held this Thursday, March 23 in the Stephen Ward Rooms with businesses interested in the future direction of the CDC encouraged to attend from 6.30pm to speak to Mr Stephens and board members.