How do you connect people in a fragmented world, and what are the challenges facing Canberra businesses right now? These are the questions the Canberra Business Chamber recently considered in a major shake up of the services it offers the Canberra business community.
Canberra Business Chamber chief executive officer Graham Catt says like so many businesses, the chamber had to look hard at its products and services and how it delivers value.
“There are 30,000 private businesses in the ACT, making up 62 per cent of the territory’s jobs,” he says. “So supporting growth in the private sector is critical.
“Our job is to tell the story of how important private business is, and how small and medium local business supports our local economy.
“In our review, we realised our traditional methods of reaching the territory’s businesses needed to change, and our services needed to adapt to what businesses are looking for.”
Representing a broad range of businesses, as well as many of the ACT’s key industry associations and community organisations, the Canberra Business Chamber is a member-based organisation, with the mission to drive the economic prosperity and growth of Canberra and our region through business.
“Businesses told us what they wanted and we listened,” says Graham. “They want information and resources, and they want to connect with each other. The challenge for us is how best to deliver those services.”
The chamber has now developed a solution in the form of two new online services: Employer Assist, which offers help with employment and staff matters, and Canberra Business Buzz, an online business community forum.
“There is so much information that business needs to know, and it is important to have the right information,” says Graham.
“The biggest challenge for business at the moment is getting good people and retaining them. With Employer Assist we can offer clear advice and support for employers to help businesses recruit and retain staff.”
Graham says Employer Assist offers online help with contracts, templates and checklists. Employers can also access advice on HR, legal matters and consultancy services.
“If you’re an employer looking for a trusted partner, our Employer Assist services are affordable, easily accessible and can be customised to your business needs,” he says.
Graham says Canberra Business Buzz is an online, multi-topic community forum to help members reach each other and gain information to help them work better.
“Networking is one of our primary roles, but obviously that did not happen as much last year [due to COVID-19],” he says. “We also understand that face-to-face events are somewhat limiting in their reach – they don’t suit many business people.
“Essentially Business Buzz is a web portal where Canberra businesses can connect, build networks and grow potential market and supply chains.”
Members can join conversations on topics that matter to their business, industry and region, and the portal will also be the go-to place to ask questions, find answers to business challenges, and help others solve theirs by sharing ideas and experiences.
A community directory will help find and connect with peers and make new connections as a way to complement in-person networking.
“This will be a significant step up in our reach,” says Graham. “We will change from networking in the hundreds to reaching thousands of members.
“Canberra Business Buzz is free to join for all. If you run a business in the ACT and region, please don’t hesitate to join our community.
“We are excited to be rolling out products and services for businesses in the Canberra region. We have been supporting for 90 years and hope to be doing it for the next 90 years and beyond.”
Check out Canberra Business Buzz.
For more information, visit Canberra Business Chamber.