Nelson Bay can lay claim to having the Hunter's 'Best Chamber' after being crowned with the prestigious gong for the second consecutive year at the Hunter Business awards night held recently in Newcastle.
The back-to-back wins are a credit to the hard work of the nine-person chamber board, in conjunction with a tireless team of office volunteers and the 230-plus membership which continues to develop and grow.
Chamber president for the past two years, Leah Anderson, said that the award was very gratifying for all people involved in the chamber.
"It demonstrates that all the effort put in by members is being recognised by our peak regional body. Instead of just plodding along like some other business chambers do, we have made a concerted effort to push and stretch our time and resources in order that we can do as much as possible for our members," she said.
Ms Anderson said that expansion of the chamber to include precincts outside of Nelson Bay town centre had been a major factor in the team's success.
"We have made a conscious effort to be pro-active in our approach... not to just sit back and wait for businesses to come us, but rather to branch out into precincts such as Shoal Bay and Anna Bay and advocate for them," she said.
"We take the time to listen to their concerns and take up their causes with the appropriate bodies. I think as more and more businesses see and value the work we do, the more likely they are to jump on board."
The chamber's mission is to provide a strong voice for Port businesses, strive for continuous improvement and support a culture that meets community standards. The award places the Nelson Bay Business Chamber into the state final to be decided in November, and a serious shot at being crowned number one in NSW.