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The Pilbara Development Commission has strengthened its partnership with small businesses in the Pilbara by executing corporate sponsorship agreements with the Karratha, Onslow and Port Hedland Chambers of Commerce.
The sponsorships are in line with the priority of the Pilbara Regional Investment Blueprint (Blueprint) to support the growth of a robust and diverse small to medium enterprise (SME) in the region.
Pilbara Development Commission Chairman Chris Gilmour said the new sponsorship agreements enhanced the Commission’s existing annual support for the Chambers’ initiatives.
“Each year we sponsor the business awards and other initiatives of the Chambers, so we identified an opportunity to package this investment to provide a better level support,” Mr Gilmour said.
“The growth of small businesses is important to the future of the region. We are committed to continuing to support the Chambers, and most importantly, supporting small business owners in the Pilbara.”
Onslow Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer Chantelle King said they were very excited to have the Commission on board as a Silver Sponsor of the Chamber.
“The Commission has been very supportive of the Chamber of the last few years and it is fantastic that we are now able to recognise this in a sponsorship package,” Ms King said.
“The sponsorship also confirms support for the second New Pilbara Conference and the Onslow Business Excellence Awards.
"We look forward to continuing to work with the team at the Commission for many more years to come and to continue to develop and grow the Onslow Chamber with their support.”
Port Hedland Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Jim Henneberry said the Chamber highly appreciated the support of the Commission towards their awards and events.
Karratha and Districts Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chief Executive Officer John Lally said the continued support for small business development was important to the future of Karratha.
“Small businesses provide jobs and deliver important services to our community,” Mr Lally said.
“The Commission has been an important partner for the Chamber in supporting small businesses and we look forward to continuing to work together to deliver meaningful initiatives that support the local business community.”
The Commission is currently developing an SME strategy to meet the 2020 objectives of the Blueprint.
“The strategy considers how we attract business and investment to the Pilbara, the role of business support services and lowering the cost of doing business,” Mr Gilmour said.
“The most important step for us in finalising this strategy is getting endorsement from the Chambers of Commerce as well as other key stakeholders.
“This will ensure we maximise the value of our efforts and provide the most positive impact on the region’s economy.”
The Commission has administered the investment of more than $8.3 million in economic infrastructure and support programs for the Pilbara’s small business sector since 2015. Projects include the East Pilbara Innovation Centre and Karratha Business Enterprise Centre, as well as events such as The New Pilbara Conference, Warlu Way Tourism Conference and the Creative Business Development Series.