To state the blatantly obvious, 2021 has certainly been a challenging year so far, and not just for the Chamber.
Virtually everyone in Goulburn, business and individual alike, has been touched by the events of the last 18 months.
Which brings me to this column's topic: not COVID so much (we have heard quite enough about COVID) but the impact it's had on the businesses, and the people of Goulburn.
It's interesting to me that when a lot of people speak about 'business' they seem to forget that they are talking about people.
Behind every business there are a whole heap of people who, in one way or another, rely on that business in some way. Real, everyday people doing extraordinary things in difficult times, in an effort to keep serving their customers, paying the bills, and keeping everyone in a job.
Because when a business is forced to shut for a period of time, there is a long list of people who are affected. Customers, suppliers, couriers, staff, bookkeepers, accountants, cleaners, advertisers, signage providers, owners, and the list goes on.
Now, I'm not having a go at anyone, I'm simply making the point that when a business is affected by an event, a long list of people are affected.
For our part, the Chamber was forced to cancel our planned Business Expo in October, a huge event that would have seen up to 150 local and regional businesses on show, attracting thousands of visitors.
We did manage to host out local business awards night. The night was a huge success, celebrating the achievements of local business owners and their staff, and even though it was virtual, the feedback was fantastic, and attendees had a great night.
We also managed to launch our Shop2580 gift card, an initiative designed to support local business by providing access to a gift card that can be redeemed at a number of local shops. We even gave away $5,000 worth of gift cards to people who attended our awards night. That's $5,000 available to local businesses who participate in the gift card program, and with Christmas fast approaching, the timing was perfect.
On top of that, every member who joined or rejoined the chamber received a $50 gift card, another initiative introduced by the chamber to support local businesses.
Did you know the Goulburn Post is now offering breaking news alerts and a daily email newsletter? Keep up-to-date with all the local news: sign up below.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.