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THE Moruya Business Chamber farewelled another successful year at its annual general meeting on Thursday.
The chamber welcomed several new faces to its executive committee and farewelled some familiar ones.
Steve Picton was re-elected president, Jude Manahan elected vice-president, Emma South secretary and Lee Gleeson was re-elected treasurer.
Tracey Dance, Tim Dalrymple and Lisa McAnally will serve as committee members.
In his president’s report, Mr Picton praised the outgoing committee, particularly past vice-president Tubby Harrison and past secretary Emily Hackett, who both retired from the committee this year.
Mr Picton spoke of the chamber’s productive year, including running “buy local” initiatives, three business breakfasts and relationship growth with council, which included making submissions to several plans and policies.
He said the chamber had met Bega MP Andrew Constance, Eden-Monaro MP Peter Hendy, both state and federal small business ministers and shadow ministers and had collaborated with neighbouring chambers.
Mr Picton said most pleasing was the “huge” participation increase from chamber members, who helped achieve 35 new initiatives.
“Much work has been done by lots of people over the past year to create and secure a viable future of our chamber,” Mr Picton said.
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“In doing this, we also nurture our local economy and stimulate jobs for people of all ages.
“More importantly, we contribute to the strong sense of community that the Moruya District is famous for and envied for by our neighbouring districts.”
Mr Picton looked forward to implementing a new “buy local” initiative, Moruya Matters, over the coming year.
Customers receive tokens when they buy local and choose to allocate them to one of three jars, each representing a local charity or cause.
At the end of the month, the tokens are tallied and donations distributed to each.
Mr Picton said the chamber would also focus on furthering its regional collaboration.
“I think strengthening our relationship with the neighbouring chambers and the political spheres of influence is very important,” he said.
“The economy is at a low point and we need to stimulate local economic development and jobs. We need to do that at a regional level.”
From its original inhabitants, the Bugelli-Manji tribe, to bushrangers, the Gold Rush and beyond, Moruya has a rich history filled with the colour and romance typical of Australia's early days.