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Rochester's future focus of revitalised Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Industry members are enthusiastic about Rochester’s future.

GRAHAM WILLIS August 6, 2014 3:10am

Steven Anderson and Alan Darbyshire.

Improving the appearance of Rochester’s business district is a key priority of the recently revitalised Rochester Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The new look chamber board intends to investigate and evaluate the empty shops and buildings to recognise chances to improve the appearance and viabilities of businesses.

The chamber gained a new lease of life through Alan Darbyshire and a vibrant committee.

‘‘We aim to focus all of our priorities on the whole town rather than a specific group of traders,’’ Mr Darbyshire said.

‘‘Promoting Rochester, as well as our members’ businesses, is an important way to ensure town growth.’’

Mr Darbyshire sees a bright future for the town.

‘‘We will work to establish partnerships with the shire, REDHS, Community House, C4R and the district planning group to ensure we are all working in the same direction,’’ he said.

‘‘Networking within our membership and with outside organisations can help us to achieve our goals through sharing knowledge, social interaction and opportunities.’’

Youth was an important focus for the chamber.

The committee is aiming to encourage the youth of the town by providing scholarships and giving opportunities for the youth to express opinions as to shaping the future of the town.

It will also work with other groups to prepare a new residents kit, town map, calendar of events and information sheets.

‘‘We will aim to give every new resident a warm welcome to Rochester,’’ Mr Darbyshire said.

Chamber president Steven Anderson said the body would look to promote local businesses and the town through exposure in Melbourne and regional press.

‘‘We will also man a Rochester information stall at the town market each month,’’ Mr Anderson said.

Continued support of successful special events including Kidzcapers, the town garage sale and the town market is a priority for the group.

Thirty businesses have taken chamber memberships and the committee is looking to double the figure soon.

‘‘Whether you carry out a business as a retailer, tradie, professional practice or are home-based, you can assist the chamber and in turn the town by becoming a member,’’ Mr Darbyshire said.

‘‘We are working at gaining online access for all businesses who are members and we are working at offering opportunities for the businesses to be together, both professionally and socially.

‘‘We want to engage community groups to ensure Rochester is vibrant and inclusive.’’

The board includes president Steven Anderson, vice-president Brad Major, secretary/chief executive Alan Darbyshire, treasurer Meagan Keating and committee members Glenda Nichol, Justin Cleary, Matt Keating, Darren pain and Bec Wolfe.

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