Greetings & Welcome to 2017
One of the questions we are often asked as a Chamber of Commerce is about our area of coverage. Do we just cover the CBD? Is the CBD just Vincent Street? Do we look after businesses outside of the CBD? What about those businesses which do not have a shop front?
The quick answer is that Cessnock Chamber of Commerce sees its role as representing the business community in general, not just shop fronts or those businesses located in Vincent Street.
Recently, we have been looking at the CBD of Cessnock itself and what it consists of.
The discussion seen as defining the CBD as the area covered by Cumberland Street, Vincent Street (through to Baddeley Park), Wollombi Road (through to West Avenue), Maitland Road, Railway Street and the areas in between.
In November, we hosted a meeting of West End businesses, where we are looking at the West End Precinct, covering the businesses from West Avenue through to and including Bellbird. A further get together of these businesses will be held in February 2017.
We would be interested in your ideas and feedback, please let us know what you think.
On another note, it was great to see that our cafés, restaurants and eateries have been exhibiting cohesion and collaboration in regard to their opening hours. The period from Xmas to the New Year has worked particularly well, with a number of establishments being open and available to visitors and locals alike.
On New Year’s Day there were at least two food establishments open for breakfast, with more opening during the day and several open for the evening trade.
Our businesses have certainly matured in recent years, having a customer first focus and making sure that the general public have a number of options available to them at all times.
Business owners deserve a break and holiday from their business but the recent trend of working together to provide service shows that we are not in competition with each other – rather we should complement each other and work in together to achieve strong outcomes for all stakeholders.
If you have a shop front, don’t forget to dress your windows for Australia Day coming up at the end of this month.
Looking for a happy (and prosperous New Year)
Geoff Walker, President