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The Grafton Chamber of Commerce held their annual AGM and first breakfast meeting since February at the Clocktower Hotel on November 18 and revealed membership numbers have grown in the past 12 months. Image: Lynne Mowbray.

Grafton Chamber of Commerce reveals growth during first breakfast in several months

Emma Pritchard

Amongst the clattering of knives and forks at the Grafton Chamber of Commerce AGM and breakfast gathering on November 18, everyone agreed that 2020 has been “a very interesting year.”

Whilst local business matters were discussed, the subsequent changes implemented, income statements read and compared from the last 12 months, and the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic talked about at length, president Carol Pachos spoke humbly as she addressed the small crowd of attendees and said 2020 has been a year where the chamber “needed to do things differently.”

“We had to suspend meetings and we focused on a grass roots level on supporting local businesses,” she said before revealing all chamber membership fees were wavered for the current financial year.

“We worked closely with Clarence Valley Council and our treasurer Glenn Thompson from Findex to provide information and support for businesses from state and federal sources and how they could access that support.

“It was essential that we all pulled together to get through these challenging times and I’m exceptionally proud of everyone for their hard work and dedication during 2020 and ensuring we have a strong platform to work from next year.”

During his speech at the AGM, Treasurer Mr Thompson said the chamber is in “a pretty good position” which he credited as “a testament to the hard work of the community.”

The Grafton Chamber of Commerce also reported a substantial increase in chamber membership during the last year which Ms Pachos said is “due to the dedication, passion, enthusiasm, ideas, initiatives and hard work of the most amazing group of people, our executive team.”

“To go from 90 to 143 in 12 months really is fantastic,” she said.

Two new executive team members were also officially welcomed to the Grafton Chamber of Commerce during the AGM, Angela Boorman and Kylie Swift.

Both women said they were excited to be involved with the chamber and they are looking forward to becoming more involved with the local community in 2021.