AT THE last Lismore Chamber of Commerce and Industry's Business After Hours networking function it was announced the not-for-profit member-based organisation had gained 15 new members.
And according to LCCI president, Deborah Benhayon, there are even more joining up this month.
The recent boon in membership is a direct result of the flood and can only be of great benefit to the commercial strength of the city, she says.
Ms Benhayon says the LCCI has become a beacon body for the way in which it mobilised the business community in the weeks following the flood with the Restart The Heart campaign, capturing the imagination and support of the city.
As a result all the most fundamental local and federal agencies are coming to us, says Ms Benhayon.
"We are now first at the table when it comes to decision making, getting opinions and coming up with strategies for the region. They know we walk the walk and not just talk the talk.”
Soon after the flood, Ms Benhayon spoke to the authorities in Calgary, Canada, as well as Christchurch in New Zealand, to learn the lessons they took away from their own natural disasters.
She says the LCCI wanted to make sure the business community had a strong voice about what needed to be done, not just now, but in the next six months. It was for this reason the NSW Small Business Commissioner, Robyn Hobbs, was working so hard for Lismore with the establishment of the Business Recovery Taskforce.
It is really important businesses in Lismore work collaboratively and collectively.
"We really do want the economy to work well because then the community potential is leveraged,” she says.
"And it can be, we have already seen shown how amazingly strong our community is.”
The Chamber BAH networking functions are hosted by different member businesses and operate every fourth Wednesday each month.
For more information visit: www.Lismore
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