The Business Chamber is a non-profit business association, representative of a broad spectrum of businesses in George. It is the largest business association in the Southern Cape with around 300 member organisations. The Chamber aims to become fully representative of the demographics of the business sector, and be the leading voice for business in the Garden Route.
What does Chamber membership offer?
- The Chamber provides a valuable networking channel to create new business contacts
- The Chamber offers opportunities to promote your own business.
- The Chamber speaks on behalf of your business
- The Chamber offers business credibility and strengthens image.
We are an active Chamber and offer the following opportunities for you to meet other members and business people in George:
- A Networking function every month at a different sponsored venue. We seldom have fewer than 130 members attending.
- A Morning [Speed] Marketing morning function, where only 20 members attend and do some very intense 3 minute marketing.
- Annual Gala Dinner and awards function once a year for the Business Person of the Year
- Two Business Breakfasts. One in March usually about the Budget and one in November with an interesting personality for year end.
- An Annual Corporate Golf Day in May.
- A Monthly Newsletter to a subscriber base of around 1600 email addresses.
The Chamber has also been building strategic partnerships and alliances. These include playing a leading role in the establishment of the Garden Route Business Forum, which involves scheduled meetings with all Business Chambers in the region.
During 2012 a trade delegation from the Nelson Mandela Bay Chamber was hosted for the first time, with some tangible business spin offs for specific Chamber members. Further trade delegations are planned for 2013, including a visit by the Cape Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber adopted the slogan “George is open for Business” in early 2012, and has been very successful in mobilizing stakeholders behind this slogan. This catch phrase has even taken hold in municipal and provincial government structures, and work will continue to change the perception about George from that of a golfing/holiday destination, to a serious business destination.
In order to continue work on this perception, it is important that the Chamber continues to grow in terms of its demographic representivity as well as its representation of “big business” and start ups in 2013 . The Chamber has also recently started expanding its basket of services, which already includes for example the issuing of certificates of origin, to offering targeted training at reduced rates to members. In a recent poll, members identified the need for Customer Service Training and two well attended training sessions have already been successfully facilitated.
A regular satisfaction survey has been introduced to ensure that the Chamber meets the needs and expectations of its members.
Finally, the Chambers role in advocacy on issues of importance to business should not be underestimated. As the Chamber grows and its professional staff base is expanded, its role as mouthpiece on issues of business concern will also become more important. Through the Chamber connections with other key role players, mainly in government, it is starting to fulfill a valuable role in ensuring that business needs and challenges remain at the top of the agenda for key decision makers in our area.
The Chamber is a member of Unashamedly Ethical.
In conclusion, the George Chamber has, during the past 18 months, set off on a path of professionalization and growth, with a concerted effort to reposition itself as the leading voice of business in the Garden Route. The Chamber Executive and Staff invites all George based businesses, big or small, to join this dynamic entity in shaping the future of business in our region.
“Alone we can go faster, but together we can go further”