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Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry launches certified local program

Stuart McGuckinSouth Western Times
Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mark Seaward and Forrest Personnel chief executive Anna Bagshaw with certified local representatives Richard Oades, Robert Holmes, Mattias Eriksson, Jo Clement and Nicole Attwood.
Camera IconBunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce chief executive Mark Seaward and Forrest Personnel chief executive Anna Bagshaw with certified local representatives Richard Oades, Robert Holmes, Mattias Eriksson, Jo Clement and Nicole Attwood. Credit: Stuart McGuckin

South West businesses and organisations can now differentiate themselves from competitors by signing the Bunbury Geographe Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s certified local program.

Chief executive officer Mark Seaward said the genesis of the idea originally came from the not-for-profit sector in April last year.

He said himself, Forrest Personnel chief executive Anna Bagshaw and Bunbury MLA Don Punch came together when concerns were raised about external providers claiming to be local.

“They would set up one man shows and bid on some of the large contracts while claiming they were local,” he said.

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“We decided at that time we needed to redefine what local meant, but we have also been very careful not to suggest we are anti-competition.

“Anyone is willing, free and able to run any business venture we want here – what we are trying to do is differentiate the genuinely local businesses.

Participants will need to have a local board of management, local general manager or CEO and a predominately local workforce to be a certified South West business or organisation.

They also need to be a member of their local chamber of commerce and industry and have policies that support local business and customer service.

Mr Seaward said additional criteria such as a local complaints management system and clearly defined services and pricing were also desirable.

“Eventually we want to put together a capability register for the region,” he said.

“That will be a website with all the businesses in the region and the local ones will be tagged.”

While the program has only a handful of businesses and organisations registered, Mr Seaward said there had been plenty of interest in recent weeks.

“There are another seven or eight not-for-profits that will do it and at least another 10 business have been asking about the program in the last week,” he said.

“Once we’ve got a few businesses accredited, the next step for them will be to go to their local suppliers and ask them to join. Hopefully it will go viral very quickly.”

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