18 April 2024

New-look website drives WCCC membership callout

| Lyndon Keane
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Western Cape Chamber of Commerce president Jai Christie (left), pictured with the rest of the 2024 executive team, is urging business in Weipa and surrounds to become members to increase the organisation’s voice and advocacy. Photo: Supplied.

The president of the Western Cape Chamber of Commerce (WCCC) says the organisation is hoping a rebrand and website redevelopment will help drive membership within the Weipa and surrounding business community.

With the new-look website and business directory now live, WCCC president Jai Christie said the technology tweak would make it easier for businesses to become members.

“The old website and logo was very old and clunky; also, our process to become a member was very slow and sometimes difficult,” he explained.

“We wanted to make it easier for new members to join.”

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Mr Christie said operating possibly the most remote chamber in the state came with myriad challenges, adding he believed an increase in membership would boost the strength of the organisation’s advocacy.

“Operating a chamber is Weipa is very difficult,” he told Cape York Weekly.

“The more members we can attract, the stronger our voice will be.

“There are a lot of issues operating a small to medium business in Weipa, and a lot of us have the same issues, for example, freight and employment.

“If we grow and work together, we can actually fight to change some of the issues.”

Mr Christie admitted it had proved difficult to grow the chamber locally, and that work was under way to provide a value proposition to existing and prospective members.

“The chamber hasn’t been as active as it could have been over the last few years, so businesses haven’t seen any benefits of joining,” he said.

“We hope to change that.”

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Business and tourism symposiums are high on the agenda for the chamber in 2024, as is the detrimental impact freight costs and crime were having on business sustainability.

“Freight has been on the agenda again with sea freight costs blowing out to a point where it is starting to get very hard for local businesses to be competitive,” Mr Christie said.

“We are going to look at options on how we can help with this.

“Also, the police have been invited to out next meeting on [18 April] to talk about crime and prevention in the town [and how] that has been impacting businesses.”

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