Special meeting called to reinvigorate Ararat’s business community

Ararat’s business owners are being invited to a special meeting being held next week to reinvigorate the local business community.

Ararat Rural City Council and Ararat Regional Business Association (ARBA) have called the meeting to discuss the future of Ararat’s businesses both in town and further afield.

Businesses in the main street shut up shop.
PHOTO: Jack Ward

The partnership between Council and ARBA began several months ago to help the associations membership, obtain resources, run workshops and seminars, provide marketing, promotion and guidance.

“The meeting next week is a great opportunity for business operators to provide input and feedback on how we can move forward together,” Council CEO Dr Harrison said.

“We want our business community to not only grow, but succeed – we all have a shared passion and collaboration is the key for success. Council understands the importance of an organisation that better helps businesses to work together and have a more strategic vision for the future.”

Recently, Ararat has seen the closure of many stores in Barkly Street including Narcissus Flowers and Gifts, Dimmeys, Gilbert and Jury, Mackays Leading Edge Jewellers, Majors, and Nguyen Chinese Take-Away.

Mackays Leading Edge Jewellers has been one of the most recent shops to shut its doors.
PHOTO: Jack Ward

ARBA Treasurer Graeme Foster said it was fantastic Council had committed to help ARBA succeed and that the meeting is about far more than retail in the main street.

“ARBA needs to become relevant and we need a strategic plan around what we’d like to achieve and how we will achieve it,” Mr Foster said.

“Council’s support will enable us to rally the troops from all business sectors – this is not just about retail in the main street. We want everyone involved from agribusiness, tourism and manufacturing to retail and micro businesses from right across the municipality.

“Having a strong membership will help us build a collaborative foundation that sees us all work together on a broader vision for Ararat Rural City’s business community. We want to focus on more meaningful and strategic ideas for the future benefit of our region.”

Gilbert & Jury has ceased its trade, with shop owner Deirdre Coone just doing the odd sewing jobs.
PHOTO: Jack Ward

Dobie Farmer Charlie de Fegely agreed with Foster and encouraged primary producers and members of the agribusiness sector to attend the meeting.

“Agribusiness and primary producers are a large part of the business community in Ararat Rural City and we need to be involved because individually we are nowhere near as strong as when we work together,” he said.

“There will be some cross overs in issues and focus across the sectors that will really work in our favour, and the agribusiness sector is bound to gain benefit through working together rather than doing things in isolation.”

The special meeting will be held from 6pm on Wednesday (July 10th) at Chalambar Golf Club.