Each Wednesday morning the Mylestom-Urunga, Dorrigo and Bellingen Chambers of Commerce lead a Zoom discussion with business owners across the Shire. It’s a chance to voice concerns and share what is happening. But as we emerge from the brutal effects of ‘lockdown’, it is also an opportunity to discuss strategies to ‘Restart the Bellingen Shire’.
Each week more business owners are joining. It’s proving a perfect platform to unite the business community and unification will be crucial to the long term viability of our businesses going forward. Every business across the Shire is welcome to join in. Membership to one of these Chambers of Commerce isn’t a prerequisite. However, membership fees have currently be waived, so now is a perfect time to become a member of your local Chamber.
Last week’s special guests were Rebecca Beaton from Riverside Holiday Resort in Urunga, Ben Garnock from The Dorrigo Butcher and Anna Jandzio from Weave in Bellingen. Their contribution to the conversation about the challenges and opportunities for our local economic recovery were invaluable.
Here are some of the themes that came out of last Wednesday’s discussion:
- We have let go of the past, but we won’t let go of the future!
- There was a strong sense of optimism about the future and our capacity to recover from the challenges that we’ve all been facing
- Visitors will start returning soon – we need to make sure we don’t look like we’ve just got out of bed!
- Our businesses are great at what we do
- We need to build on our strengths
- Be proud of what we do
- Focus on the particular values that our businesses are built on
- We live and work in an amazing environment, with a wide variety of beautiful natural assets that visitors enjoy
- Nature based tourism will be important
- We need to lift each other up, cross promote each other’s businesses
- We need to continue the conversation about what kind of place we want Bellingen Shire to be
- We need to consider replacing old business models with new offerings
- Michael Grieve will be a special guest for one of our future zoom meetings to talk to us about future tourism and economic development plans
This week’s discussion (Wednesday 27th May) will be a continuation of themes raised last week.
If you would like to join Click on this link just before 8am on Wednesday, 27 May at 8am.
To join by phone use this number: 02 8015 6011 and enter the meeting ID 558 434 683
This event is hosted by the Bellingen Chamber of Commerce, Urunga Mylestom Chamber of Commerce and Dorrigo Chamber of Commerce
Essential reading for business owners:
Casual employment ruling
The Full Federal Court last week confirmed its ruling that casual employees working regular and systematic hours with “predictable periods of working time” are likely to be considered permanent employees, regardless of what their contract says and regardless of the payment of a casual loading. This will have significant implications for many of the retail and hospitality businesses across Bellingen Shire who employ casual staff.
Read more about this important ruling at the Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors website: Casual employment ruling
Business NSW have called on the Federal Government to take immediate action to fix the Fair Work Act following this ruling. See their media release here: Business NSW media release
Federal government funding boost
Federal Member for Cowper, Pat Conaghan has issued a press release announcing a major funding boost of more than $5.7m for councils across Cowper, including $594,625 for Bellingen Shire.
This funding is for infrastructure projects and will support local jobs and regional economies. Pat Conaghan noted that councils are well placed to get construction projects happening quickly and have great local procurement connections with local contractors and suppliers.
Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors free webinar
COVID-19 Employer Update Series: New Business As Usual
Date: Thursday, 11 June 2020
Time: 12:00pm – 1:00pm AEST
Presenters: Joe Murphy, Managing Director – National Workplace and Luis Izzo, Managing Director – Sydney Workplace
With businesses evaluating how they return to work, a number of legal and safety issues need to be considered. It’s imperative to manage your employer obligations to ensure a safe return to work for all involved. Joe Murphy and Luis Izzo will discuss what employers need to consider and answer the burning questions employers are asking.
They will bring you the latest updates on Public Health Orders and review the COVID-19 legislation changes and how they impact business.
You will need to register here webinar registration to attend this webinar
Taking care of our mental health – resources
We hope that everyone is taking care of themselves as these strange days continue. I thought it worthwhile to repost the resources provided by Kate Minto who was our guest for a recent zoom meeting focusing on taking care of our mental health. Kate is a Bellingen local who is a psychologist with experience of supporting people working in the humanitarian emergency, disaster relief and international development sectors.
Self-Care & Managing Isolation: Psychology COVID-19
Mental health for yourself and your staff