January has certainly brought with it a raft of challenges that just keep on coming for our Port City – and obviously our broader sandgroper community.

Some days it feels like the world just keeps throwing new things at Fremantle, as soon as it starts to find its feet. As a business community we must constantly prove our agility to adapt and change to meet these challenges. In one month alone the Fremantle business community has been thrown Tent City, a COVID-19 snap lockdown, a 2-3 month disruption to the only train line access into Fremantle and re-instatement works of High St in Fremantle.

In addition, our creative industries are facing their biggest structure change in decades as they manage the uncertainty of live performances in a COVID-19 world, the future of our marine industry required re-defining as we contemplate life in Fremantle without a container port, and demand for our bricks and mortar retail offering continues to face almost unbeatable challenge.

As a Chamber our role is to be there for our members through all of these events and represent their views to government and other stakeholders. We currently have over 300 members, ranging from major corporate organisations to the smallest micro-business with everything in between. The Chamber’s membership base employs over 5,000 thousand people, and our member business community contributes more than 50% of the annual rates collected by the City.

The Chamber is more than just a few networking events – being a part of the Chamber helps us provide a strong voice when needed in challenging times. As a group we are also hear to look out for each other, provide advice and use of network of members to keep business strong.

Our strength lies in supporting each other so do check the Chamber Member Directoryfrom time to time, click on the member offers and support local wherever you possibly can.

Times are changing for our businesses, and we do need to be constantly rethinking the way we do business.  The recent closure of well established WA businesses such as ZOMP and Varga Girl have highlighted that even those loved by multiple generations are struggling to stand against the tide.

While at times it feels like maybe we should all just pack up and leave, and sit on a brolly on the beach, we need to keep focused on each day, the small wins, and do what we need to do to keep our businesses alive. Most importantly, maintaining one very strong eye on the horizon for the next storm coming that we may need to navigate.

On our most recent storm this week, our export desk remains open for both manual certification and electronic certifications, our events for this week have been rescheduled (please note the new dates below) and are team are here if you wish to chat through any issues.

For the latest advice on the COVID-19 lockdown visit the COVID-19 page on the WA Government website.

In the meantime, lets hope we can shade under an umbrella again at the beach this weekend.

To read more of this week’s Chamber Weekly here.