Tomaree Business Chamber unveils rebrand, Business Port Stephens

Tomaree Business Chamber has changed its name to align itself with the wider Port Stephens region, but not its focus.

At a dinner held last Wednesday night at Nelson Bay Golf Club, chamber president Lean Anderson announced the thriving organisation would re-brand to Business Port Stephens.

"Our mission to showcase member benefits and ways to navigate, share and collaborate in our community together will remain," Ms Anderson said.

"We are proud of our membership growth journey. From 42 members in 2016 to 250 members in October 2020.

"In 2018 I attended a luncheon with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and during conversation, she asked me how many members we had. When I told her 175, she was totally amazed.

"I told her my goal was for us to have 300 members by the end of 2020. COVID-19 may have slowed us down a little, but pleasing to see we have still had growth in membership during this challenging time. Peter Clough has been the driving force of this membership growth."

The organisation is attempting a three-peat, having won the best chamber of commerce in the Hunter Business Awards in both 2018 and 2019.

The switch to the new name and launch of a membership directory was made official on October 14.

It was the not-for-profit business organisation's first in-person event since the COVID-19 restrictions were introduced earlier in the year.

The organisation represents the business community of Port Stephens by "providing a strong united voice and proactive network for business in Port Stephens".

Business Port Stephens board members and volunteers were joined at the launch by Port Stephens Council representatives, business owners and members, Destination Port Stephens and Paterson MP Meryl Swanson.

The first event the new-look Business Port Stephens will be involved in is the Small Business - Big Impact Expo on October 27.

The free virtual event, designed to reinvigorate the small business community after a challenging environment of COVID-19, is being held during Small Business Month (October) to "provide a forum to discuss, debate and investigate solutions to issues, challenges and opportunities facing regional small businesses in Port Stephens".

The former chamber's next event will be the Business Port Stephens Annual General Meeting will be held at Nelson Bay Bowling Club at 5.30pm on November 11. A business networking event is slated for December 17.