Grafton Chamber of Commerce President Carol Pachos said just being a finalist at the 2021 NSW Regional Business Awards was an exciting achievement for the chamber, and one to be immensely proud of.
And when they were announced as the winner in the Outstanding Local Chamber category during a virtual ceremony on October 23, they clapped, cheered and raised glasses of bubbly in celebration as they graciously accepted the award which recognises their extraordinary contributions and the ongoing commitment they have to their local community.
Describing the win as “very exciting”, Ms Pachos and a small number of chamber members gathered together on Saturday night in Grafton to watch the ceremony.
“It was great,” she said.
“Being a virtual award ceremony, I didn’t expect it to have the same atmosphere it would have if we were able to attend in person, but it did, and there was so much excitement and anticipation leading up to the announcement.
“It was a great moment when we were announced as the winners.”
Ms Pachos said the award is a special recognition for the chamber following another challenging year influenced by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“The chamber has worked very hard and we’ve become very innovative in the way we continue to support local businesses and industries,” she said, adding a majority of communication and networking was undertaken by the chamber online.
“We’ve really stepped up using digital platforms and we’ve reaped the rewards.
“We feel our profile isn’t as high as it would be in a normal year, but we have managed to maintain our presence and explore new ways to maintain our profile and let people know what has been going on.
“Everyone has worked so hard.
“We have a wonderful executive team, and we feel very proud and excited to be recognised at the NSW Business Awards.”
The Grafton Chamber of Commerce was nominated alongside the Lismore Chamber of Commerce in the Outstanding Local Chamber category.
Prior to the winner being revealed, Ms Pachos said good luck messages were exchanged on Facebook between Grafton and Lismore, with the other nominee among the first to offer their congratulations after the ceremony.
“Being recognised as a finalist was huge, and we were all excited just to be nominated in the Outstanding Local Chamber category,” Ms Pachos said graciously.
The Grafton Chamber of Commerce are currently planning their AGM.
The date of their next breakfast meeting is yet to be decided.