By TRACEY ROXBURGH
QUEENSTOWN’S Chamber of Commerce has opened up membership to businesspeople who’ve been made redundant in the past three months, and owners who’ve had to close or hibernate their businesses.
The free 12-month memberships are being supported by Westpac.
‘WeAreCommunity’ is aimed at managers, team leaders and supervisors who’re committed to staying in Queenstown and want to stay connected with the business community.
Former Chamber boss Anna Mickell, who finished in the job on Tuesday, came up with the idea after recognising that group of people will be “essential” for a successful return to business in the Wakatipu.
“The calibre and commitment of many people being made redundant is enormous.
“We all know great people who through no fault of their own are no longer in work.
“We need to continue to give these people opportunities to network with the business community, as well as provide support and education opportunities.”
City Hall economic development advisor Sharon Fifield says key talent retention is imperative.
“It is so important that we don’t lose touch with this valuable group of people as they will play a part in our recovery.
“Opportunities for training and redeployment will become available and it’s important that this group of people keep connected to take advantage of this.”
Chamber chair Craig Douglas says its own board and executive have been affected by job losses – Mickell is one of those, while Douglas himself lost his job as Skyline Queenstown’s commercial manager.
He’s pleased the Chamber, with Westpac’s support, can support those in the business community who have been made redundant, and has high hopes for what they may be able to achieve.
“I know there is lots of entrepreneurial individuals among them and with a bit of time on their hands, I suspect some will be the new business owners of the future.”
The WeAreCommunity membership was launched at the first post-Covid Chamber BA5 in Queenstown last Wednesday.
Anyone interested can sign up by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org