“It is considered highly desirable and of great importance that there should be established among the merchants and traders of the Town of Fremantle some combination for an active and united concert to protect and advance the interest of trade” – Excerpt FCC Formation Meeting Minutes 1873

I have been asked a few times this week why should I join up as member of the Chamber of Commerce? Obviously, all businesses grow through the networks, referrals and connections they make, and as a Chamber we provide this opportunity for local business leaders to gather and learn from each other.

However, we are not a BNI Chapter and we don’t try to compete in this space. Since 1873 it has been the mandate of the Chamber to provide an active and united concert of voices to protect and advance economic development within our City. Membership of the Chamber, our Board and associated Committees helps provide a forum for these voices to be heard, debated and a united front presented to our decision makers.

Over the past few months we have seen the difference that this voice can make in the planning for Pipes for Fremantle, the City’s review of the Visitor’s Centre and the push for balance in reporting around investment opportunities in the City.

This week consultation opened for The Harbour Connect Project at 38 Mews Rd at Fishing Boat Harbour, The Australian Marine Complex (AMC) Strategic Infrastructure and Land-use Plan and South West Group Lobbying around Fremantle-Murdoch East-West Transport link. We will be preparing submissions based on member feedback for each of these projects.

As our October AGM approaches we encourage you to think about your membership, what voice you would like to have in decisions relating to the City and to put yourself forward for our Committees and Think Tanks.

In coming months, we will be gathering the local Creative Industries together, our marine and engineering businesses, our property and our tertiary education leaders to look at the challenges and opportunities facing them locally. These conversations with members provide more than just networking opportunities, they provide a way to develop a strong and consistent voice and to continue to put Fremantle on the map for state-based decision makers. The impact of this may not be immediate but it is where your membership counts most.

We are really interested in hearing from our members, and those not yet members, to continuing this conversation about how we support our different sectors growth in Fremantle. Please continue to email me directly to register your interest in these discussions or if you would like to join up as members to nominate for our Small Business and Retail, Tourism or Development and Infrastructure Committees at the AGM.

Annual membership fees can be spread over 12 months (which for Business Enterprise and Small Business members makes it incredibly affordable) and we will be offering our Corporate Partners greater sponsorship and promotion opportunities throughout the year. If you sign up and pay by 16 August you will also go in the running to win prizes, donated by our leading members, to the value of your membership and then some.

I also encourage you to get the most out of your membership. We have our Cyber-Security Podcast Forum next week, our Podcast Forums to listen to or join me at an open event to welcome new members at the end of August.

Finally, tune in to Pirate88 Radio (Chamber member & tenant) via their App to listen to our weekly Chamber news segment on business in Fremantle!

We can only continue to do this work with your support. Email Luke at membership@fremantlechamber.com.au to sign up today.