The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce June eNewsletter
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JUNE 2020



Welcome to the Hills & District Chamber of Commerce - a friendly and supportive business group bridging the Ferny Hills, Arana Hills, Ferny Grove, Keperra, Mitchelton and surrounding districts. Established in 1992, our Chamber is not-for-profit and is affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.
If you are involved in a business or community group and live or work in the Hills Districts, why not register for the next meeting - new members and visitors are always welcome.
Become a Member
Upcoming Events
Breakfast Meeting

Shop Local Campaign

So, why run a 'shop local' campaign? Firstly, because they Work!     
A recent study by the Institute For Local Self Reliance (US) showed that towns with a shop local campaign had almost three times the revenue growth of those that didn't.

On top of this, businesses got even more benefits from the campaigns than just revenue:
  • 42% said the campaign had improved the loyalty of their existing customers
  • 41% said the promotions brought new customers to their business  
  • 62% reported the campaign increased local media coverage of independent businesses 
  • 47% said the messaging made officials more aware and supportive of independent businesses
  • 42% said it had led to more collaboration, purchasing and mutual support among local businesses
Here are five more great reasons why spending locally is so powerful:
  1. Buy Local - Support yourself - where we shop, eat and have fun is all part of making our community 'home'.
  2. Create More Good Jobs - Small local businesses are the largest employers Nationally and are committed to keeping those jobs local rather than shipping them out to a 'head office'.
  3. Invest in Community - Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave when things get tough and have more invested in our community's future.
  4. Keep Our Community Unique - Locally owned businesses are part of the distinctive character of our towns. Not only is this great for us - but also to potential visitors and tourists. No one needs to travel to see a main street full of franchises.
  5. Get Better Service - Local businesses often hire people with better understanding of the produce they are selling.
Moreton Bay Business and Jobs Expo will go ahead on Thursday 29th October 2020 at the brand new Hope Centre, Rothwell. Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce Inc. will again be supporting the event, and will have a display stand on the day.

While everyone’s business and approaches are different, one thing is for sure – COVID-19 had an impact on us all in some way. This month 3 business owners will share their experience of COVID, including the impact on their business and how they have been able to move themselves and their businesses through this period.

For some this has meant big change, for others, smaller adaptations, but as we experience a move towards fewer restrictions we hope this will provide some hope for positive change into the future for our business community.

Introducing our speakers …

From a stage to a screen – no, this is not a Hollywood story! Sally Foley-Lewis will share how COVID-19 impacted her business as a professional speaker and the lessons, pivots and silver linings she’s discovered during these uncertain times.

Once a Facebook phobic, Bonnie Cunial, found herself quickly adapting her fitness business to provide virtual training to clients. She successfully retained the majority of her clients, many of whom were also technologically-challenged pre-COVID. Hear how she embraced the changes and what the future might look like for Fabulous Fitness Fun.

It can be difficult enough to navigate the complexities of one business, let alone three! Hayley Lingard went into COVID having already made the decision to wind down her AirBNB business, however she maintained both a product based business and a service based practice during this period. It meant understanding the unique needs of each business during this time, not to mention the needs of each client group. Hayley will share how she adapted her businesses through the COVID period and even came out with another business on the other side.


Mary Di Marco

The Hills and District Chamber of Commerce Inc. held its AGM earlier this month. I look forward to seeing everyone again and working with our new committee during the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. The Hills and District Chamber has a sterling record of community involvement and support for our local groups.

It has been my privilege to be president for the past year and in that time I have worked with:

Leonard Whittaker who has been the guiding light and mentor to us. I am thankful for his support and encouragement throughout my 6 year involvement on committees and Executive.

It would be remiss of me not to thank all those other hardworking members of our Executive over the past 12 months. They have made my job so much easier.

To Donna Thistlethwaite, thank you for your support, for the assistance you have provided on the various committees we have worked together and also for taking on the role of Vice President.

To Vicki Buchanan, thank you for your support.  For the roles you have ably worked on various committees including the Awards and Christmas Party.  Vicki, due to work commitments, is no longer able to continue with her Chamber involvement.

To Hayley Lingard, thank you for your support as Vice President and also for taking on the role of Secretary, which Leonard has vacated. Hayley will be a wonderful secretary and I look forward to working with you throughout the coming year.

To Stuart Jaeschke, thank you for the thorough and complete work you undertake for the financial records of the Chamber. You make all our work easier and it has been a pleasure to work with you.

To Margaret Sims who has always worked diligently and assisted with all tasks asked of her in a generous, planned and professional manner. I will miss Margaret as she has decided not to continue on the Executive for the coming year.

To Brian Battersby, who is our own Living Treasure. Thank you Brian for the hard work and diligence you put into every task you undertake for the Hills Chamber, including the Advocacy Committee and the Meet the Candidates. We are very fortunate to have your wisdom.

We have also been able to call on John Hudson, Kate Hewish and Vanessa Petch as invited guests over recent months. John has nominated for the role of Vice President. John you will be a valuable and wise addition to our Executive team.

Kate thank you for the work you had undertaken for the PR committee, during these difficult COVID times, it is most appreciated.  Kate has nominated as a member of the Executive.

Vanessa, thank you for the work you have undertaken on the Advocacy Committee. Your advice and expertise has been appreciated by me and the Chamber has benefited by your input. Vanessa has nominated as a member of the Executive.

My thanks are also extended to Cameron Stanley and Chris McNaught both of whom were members of our Executive over the past 12 months. Cameron was a huge asset in obtaining grants on behalf of our Chamber and Chris worked with the Commerce in School programme. 

The past year can be divided into 2 sections, Normal – pre-COVID and Now - COVID 19. I do not believe that anyone could have predicted the state of the nation as we now stand in June 2020. 

Our Chamber has moved since March 2020 to zoom meetings and again I would like to thank Donna and Hayley for the support and assistance in arranging these meetings. The Executive has set up a roster for the TUESDAY Check-ins’. These are held every Tuesday morning and are an opportunity for chamber members to meet over a coffee and have a chat on how they are managing, where there business is at and hear what everyone else is managing moving forward.

These days are different. Business owners will adapt and they will come out at the Post COVID.
All chamber members are valuable, and the Hills and District Chamber of Commerce is a valuable resource, stay in touch, contact members if you need a service which they provide. I look forward to seeing you all face to face soon.

Lastly, I encourage you all to view the Strategic Business Plan which is now available for your information and perusal.  Mary
Click here to view Strategic Business Plan 2020 - 2022


Stuart Jaeschke

Financial reports for the month ended 31 May 2020.


Hayley Lingard

May the 26th 2020 saw us hold yet another breakfast meeting via Zoom, and our very first Zoom AGM. With 30 attendees during the morning our Executive Committee was voted in unopposed and the new team has already hit the ground running (as best we can in these times). Lindsay Adams was our guest speaker for the morning with great reviews - thank you Lindsay! 
Next month a panel of local business owners will share how they navigated their way through COVID-19 in the hope of providing insights and inspiration to others as well as an opportunity to share other innovations and adaptations that may have occurred in our community. 
Tuesday Check-Ins are still happening from 7.30am on Tuesdays other than the monthly breakfast and myself and Linda Conyard are still offering our free support sessions with the next being just after our next Tuesday Check-In on the 7th July from 9am. A reminder that all of this event information can be found on the website or Facebook and we encourage you all to share your business opportunities and events with the community so that we can continue to support one another wherever possible. 
I’m pleased to announce that our membership grew last month by 4 new members and 1 new business registration this month so I’d like to welcome - 
  • Lindsay Adams from Integrus has rejoined the Chamber, 
  • Ben Stonehouse from Patricks Road Pharmacy,
  • Susanne Jones from Just Better Care Brisbane North.
  • Corinna Hadloq from Harcourts Solutions, and
  • I, Hayley Lingard, registered my new business, Bright Advice. 
There were no Committee Reports as limited events and activities have occurred in recent times.
AGM minutes will be available very soon and thanks again for all who attended the Breakfast Meeting and those who are making the most of our Tuesday Check-In events. Stay safe and well and I hope to see you at an event as soon as we can get back to them!  Hayley

Advocacy Committee

Committee Member | Michael Pecic

Small Businesses Rise from Lockdown

With the continual relaxation of restrictions small businesses will slowly see the return of staff and normal operations over the coming months. It is important business owners ensure they have implemented changes in HR and WPH&S processes to provide a safe and productive workplace. 

The following is just some of the processes small businesses need to review and be mindful of as operations return:
  1. Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
    Process for the cleaning of toilets, meal areas, conference rooms, personal hygiene practices etc
    Consulting employees to establishing a working space they feel comfortable in.
    Communicating the initiatives, you have put in place both to employees and customers
  2. Helping staff return to work
    Staff may return with new or existing mental health challenges triggered by COVID 19.  Fatigue, lack of concentration and lack of confidence may need to be addressed through HR support, flexible work hours and re-enforcement of WPH&S practices.
  3.  Our products and services
    Many small companies have adapted and changed their focus of business operations. We have regularly seen small businesses supply a new product or service to assist through the COVID pandemic. It is extremely important these businesses review insurance policies to make sure their new product or service is covered under the existing policy.  
These are just a few considerations for small businesses moving forward. Chamber of Commerce weekly online catch ups and monthly meetings are a great way small business owners can discuss processes to maintain a safe and profitable business. Michael

Business Development Committee

Individual committee members are undertaking “on-demand” programs through online webinars. Please check your Tuesday Check-Ins to keep updated on latest initiatives and ideas. The monthly chamber meeting is also a Zoom Meeting and these are a great way to keep informed on what is going on in Our Chamber.
Should any of the groups associated with the Chamber wish to undertake a specific learning experience please contact any of the committee listed on the site and we will be happy to try to deliver on your group’s needs. Business Development Committee

Copyright © 2020 The Hills & Districts Chamber of Commerce Inc., All rights reserved.

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