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Improving the streetscape in the Castlecrag shopping village is a priority for the backers of the Northbridge & Castlecrag Chamber of Commerce. Readers are encouraged to write to The Crag with their ideas for improvement. Photo: Bob McKillop.

A number of Castlecrag business owners have joined with their colleagues in Northbridge in a move to establish a local Chamber of Commerce to represent their interests. A foundation group of businesses representatives came together at the inaugural meeting at the Northbridge Golf Club on 16 March and they are seeking wider support from local business houses before formally establishing a chamber.

The impetus for the move came from the Northbridge Rotary Club, which hosted an event to promote the concept in February at which Scott Haddinott, president of the Chatswood Chamber of Commerce, Lindsay Dominique, president of the Cammeray Chamber of Commerce, the Member for Willoughby, Gladys Berejiklian and the Mayor of Willoughby, Pat Reilly, provided briefings on the potential role of a local chamber. Rosemary Macey, proprietor of Castlecrag’s Momo Interiors, was nominated as the interim president.

In addition to Momo Interiors, Ganache Patisserie and Roger Page Real Estate were represented at the inaugural meeting. Both the Castlecrag and Northbridge Progress Associations were also represented and indicated their support for the move.

Scott Haddinott advised the meeting that a local chamber would need clear objectives and demonstrate that it is an effective voice for the local business community. It should also serve a networking function to assist its members with specific business problems towards agencies or individuals who can provide the assistance they need. While the Chatswood Chamber of Commerce faced difficulties in meeting the diverse interests of its members, a smaller and more focused chamber would have the advantage of being closer to its members and the local community.

The inaugural meeting identified the goal or purpose of the Chamber of Commerce focused on the need for a ‘voice’ to represent the business community of the Northbridge and Castlecrag village shopping centres. A range of potential strategies was put forward to achieve the goal, including improving the environment and attractiveness of the Northbridge and Castlecrag shopping centres; publicity on local newspapers and other media in order to draw more customers to the local businesses; and awards for successful businesses. Building links with the local communities, such as support for local fairs and events, was also seen as important. A follow-up meeting was to be held on Tuesday 9 April.

Rosemary Macey told The Crag that she sees enhancing the streetscape as a priority for the Castlecrag shopping village. She is also interested in promoting the unique heritage and environment to a wider range of visitors as a means of making the suburb better known.

Bob McKillop