by S Lowe 5THE FM newsonline wattlerangenow
The special Millicent Business Community Association meeting held last evening Tuesday 15th April was attended by fifteen committee members and members of the business community. After some informal discussion, the committee decided on a new future for the association. They will become more business focused, rather than event focused.
The MBCA has organised the ‘Lights up Festival’, the ‘Lights up Competition and the ‘Christmas Street Party’ in the past. The Christmas Street Party has historically been held on Christmas Eve but due to the large number of MBCA committee members who also own retail businesses; it was changed to the Friday night before Christmas in 2013, so they could spend time with their families on Christmas Eve instead of working until 9-00 pm or later. Penalty rates for Christmas Eve trading was not sustainable for many small businesses, and this influenced the change of date too.
Tony and Di Egan spent many years organising these events as committee members and office bearers as well as many community members who have served on the committee since the MBCA’s inception. The idea of these events was to give back to the community who supports local business by shopping local and last night the committee recognised the huge contribution made by Tony and Di Egan and all who have served on the committee, past and present.
Support for the community is on-going by many local businesses in the form of sponsorship and prizes to community groups and sporting clubs a and this high level of community support was considered at last night’s meeting in the decision-making process.
Gradual changes have been made by the MBCA over the past 12 months. In 2013 the Lights-Up Competition was handed over to Malseeds Real Estate. The Lights up Festival at the Rotunda was not held in 2013, because of the on-going problems with the installation of the new lighting over the past two years and the Geltwood Market Day 2014 was organised by Emily White Economic Development Officer Wattle Range Council instead of the MBCA.
The MBCA will no longer organise the Christmas Street Party but will still support the event. The MBCA committee proposes that a new committee be formed to manage the Christmas Street Party, consisting of members of service groups, churches, sporting groups and members of the wider community or any interested party. They will contact all such groups in the coming weeks and are hopeful that this event will involve the wider community. The MBCA propose to have a member of their committee on the new committee and will provide a pro-forma for the Christmas Street Party.
This change of direction will allow the MBCA to become more business focused and be a stronger support to new and existing businesses by holding regular business meetings with guest speakers. The committee also want to offer more support to businesses experiencing difficulties and this new direction will allow more time to be spent in growing businesses.
A new website is about to be launched as part of the new vision, the annual MBCA Business Awards will continue and will be held later this year and the MBCA has on-going promotions to support local business.
The MBCA AGM will be held on Monday 28thth April at the Grand Hotel, members are encouraged to attend and non members of the MBCA are welcome.
The MBCA monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Millicent Public Library.
For further information please contact MBCA Secretary Amanda Gordon – firstname.lastname@example.org