SMALL businesses and the challenges they face are often forgotten by politicians but uniting them is the key to having their voices heard, according to the Central West Orana Region Business Chamber’s new regional manager Vicki Seccombe.
Ms Seccombe started in her new role four months ago covering a “massive area” from Lithgow to Broken Hill and offering support for many local business chambers.
She said red tape, especially for workplace and employment laws, remained the biggest challenge for businesses, especially smaller operators.
“They do get forgotten,” she said.
“Most of the sole traders are so busy getting day-to-day stuff done they don’t have time for red tape.”
The chamber represents businesses of all sizes, from small family-operated businesses to giants employing 300 people, Ms Seccombe said.
“Everyone is trying to do the right thing to meet the laws,” she said.
“We’ve got a workplace hotline out of Sydney so we can help members of local business chambers with wages and awards.”
Ms Seccombe brings 15 years’ experience working in member-based organisations in Sydney within the financial services, hospitality and agricultural sectors.
For the past five years she has lived and worked in the central west and has grand plans for her new role.
“I’d love to really encourage entrepreneurship from businesses right across the region,” she said.
She said it could be hard for some communities to sustain local business chamber branches.
“Most are built up on volunteers and it’s really hard on top of their day jobs to meet up in the evening,” she said.
“We have the resources to try and make their jobs as easy as possible.”
Ms Seccombe said the regional body aimed to bring the small chambers together to share ideas and learn from each other, with most trying to encourage people to shop locally.
“People join business chambers for different reasons,” she said.
“Some like networking and exploring different ideas or working more efficiently, but each has a different challenge.”