Presidents Update 2021
As everybody knows, 2021 has been a challenging year for business and the Logan Chamber has suffered along with our business community. We have had members close permanently but others have joined with a new business. Our membership, as of writing, is 166. We did see a high of over 200 during COVID lockdowns as we made membership free in order to help as many businesses as possible. Sadly, many of these did not make it.
Sadly, LExpo did not go ahead but we managed to hold our other major functions in one way or another.
In the lead up to Small Business Week, we set ourselves a challenge of holding a breakfast for a different demographic each day. With Monday a public holiday we held Tech Founders on Tuesday, Professional Services on Wednesday, Arts on Thursday and a special Social Media breakfast on Friday. As May was Small Business Month, we also had our first Sports Champions breakfast and general breakfast. All were well attended, proving that we can hold multiple events without cannibalising our audiences.
While we have had many join the committee, we have also had a large amount of people leave for a variety of reasons.
Valerie O’Neill – Treasurer – Valerie has a passion for helping business and has already shown herself to be a fabulous asset to the Chamber, serving as Treasurer.
Joshua Lewis – IT Industry Champion – From Dorks Delivered fame, Joshua stepped up to the be the IT Industry Champion and will continue in this role.
Brad Hindle – Sports Industry Champion – As the owner of the countries most successful squash centre, Brad comes on board to lead our Sporting Industry from a business point of view.
Sandy Clarke – Health and Medical Industry Champion – With 26 years in the health and medical industry, Sandy is proud to serve as the Health and Medical Champion.
Rowan Johnstone – For Purpose Industry Champion – As the Salvation Army’s head of fundraising for South-East Queensland, Rowan understands the struggles of For Purpose organisation. We are lucky to have him as Industry Champion for this precious resource.
Alexis Matthews-Frederick – Retail Industry Champion – Alexis joins the committee as the Retail Industry Champion and has applied to be the Chambers Representative on the RDA Logan and Redlands board.
Pat Robards – Treasurer – Pat is a major part of the Chambers financial success. Not just keeping the books straight, he pushed all of us to work on better financial principles.
Jackie Thompson – As the convenor of the Logan Business Expo (LExpo), Jackie created an event that helped many businesses connect and be seen. She was also the Tourism Industry Champion.
Roberto Guterres – Roberto provided expert event support for the Logan Expo and the chamber breakfasts.
Carolyn Ferrando – Carolyn helped put our Chamber on the Social Media map, creating special groups and posts that attracted attention from the wider business community.
Eric Guthrie – Eric was key to the sponsorship of the Logan City Charity Golf Day, helping raise money and the profile of the Chamber at the same time.
Annette Demosthenous – Annette spearheaded the Junior Chamber of Commerce who held their first event this year. She also put together the initial pieces to a Chamber-led Education, Employment and Training event.
The Logan Expo was not held this year due to COVID lockdowns and, with a family tragedy falling on our organiser. Only time will tell if we hold it next year as, without a passionate organiser, this is a hard event to pull together.
Logan City Charity Golf Day
The 2021 Logan City Golf Day was slightly smaller than last year and again, raised money for Substation 33 and their “Bridging the Digital Divide” program. This program provides computers to families in Logan where kids don’t have access to this technology and would fall behind in school as a result.
This year we had 64 players and 55 at the breakfast beforehand. A huge thanks to Eric Guthrie who helped wrangle the sponsors and the Meadowbrook Golf Club for hosting us.
With reduced numbers we still managed to raise $8,297.74 which will provide 83 computers for Logan Families.
Logan Writers Festival (LWF)
The first ever Logan Writer’s festival to be organised by the Logan Chamber of Commerce was held at the Logan Artists Association and was a huge success. Spread over 2 days (10th & 11th of September) the festival featured 48 authors, live music and presentations on making a living from writing. Three schools attended with over 50 students talking to the authors about making writing a career.
Rhiannon Elton, Arts Champion pulled together an amazing event, even with an injured knee.
We expect the 2022 LWF to be even bigger with many authors and publishers keen to attend.
The event raised $5,666.80 for the Chamber plus a few marquees donated from Bunnings adding to the Chambers growing resources.
Business Distinction Awards
James Stokes again led the charge for the 2021 Logan Business Distinction Awards which was held on Friday the 24th of September and was a sell-out. Due to the Logan Entertainment Centre being used as a vaccination centre, the event had to be pushed back and moved to the Beenleigh Events Centre.
The change of venue reduced our seating capacity from 400 to 250, making it very tight financially. As the night got under way, we still had over 60 people still on the waiting list, and I have no doubt that we could have sold out the 400 seats at the LEC.
It was a venetian masked theme and most people dressed up for the occasion. Seventeen businesses walked away with Industry Awards and a further five received our major awards.
Details of all the winners, finalists and the photos from the night are available from the website – loganbusinessawards.com.au.
The event raised $1,436.64 for the chamber.
As we grew past the 200-member mark, I realised that it was getting harder and harder to give and receive meaningful information from our members. In order to provide a more specialised environment, I asked our committee to step up as Industry Champions.
Industry Champions represent their chosen industry and hold specialised functions to give every business in Logan a voice. We gave each industry Champion a budget of $1,000 to spend on their events and marketing and even with this, the Industry Champion initiative has still made a profit of $21.70.
The Tech Founders breakfasts were started by Brad Apps as part of the Innov8 Logan initiative and this year, Joshua Lewis stepped up as Logan Technology Champion, hosting breakfasts each month for technology-based companies in the city. With attendance from 12 to 30, these have been well received with different mixes of people turning up each to each event.
We have had visits from Ministers and leaders from some of the largest tech companies in the city. We even held a Tech Toy night with drones, video equipment, VR goggles and pizza.
With so many tech companies in Logan, we expect this to be a growing sub-group, leading the Chamber Champion charge.
Rhiannon D. Elton took the idea of Arts Champion by the horns, alternately holding breakfasts and after dark events with an average of around 30 local artists attending each event.
She also proposed and held the Logan Writers Festival (see Major Events) which was highly successful and will continue next year.
We have some incredibly talented artists in our community and the Chamber of Commerce is keen to help them make successful businesses from their skills.
For Purpose Organisations
Rowan Johnstone from The Salvation Army stepped up at our Christmas Party last year as the For Purpose Industry Champion. Logan has hundreds of charities and For Purpose organisations and this sub-group is designed to help each of these achieve more of their goals through effective networking and business-based education.
To date, Rowan has held two For Purpose breakfasts with 32 attending the first one, which was held at Lighthouse Care. The second was held at Substation 33 and a third has been booked for November 23rd at Access Gateway called “There’s a Grant for that!”
James Stokes volunteered to be the Professional Services Champion and held their first breakfast in May. With over 30 attendees, this was a great start and the audience was enthusiastic about having their say going forward.
At this stage, these events will happen 2-4 times a year as time permits.
Brad Hindle from Daisy Hill Squash and Racquet Club stepped up as Industry Champion for the Sports Services industry. The first meeting was held in May during Small Business Week with around representation from local sporting clubs, gyms and businesses. The Hon. Mick Di Brenni attended and spoke about the importance of Sport being seen as a business by the Local and State governments.
With a second successful breakfast held at Meadowbrook Golf Club, the next event will be scheduled for November and be held at Club Beenleigh.
The Retail Industry Champion is Alexis Matthews-Frederick. She has organised the very first Retail Champions Reception for next Tuesday at Fitzy’s Loganholme. This event is sponsored by Steadfast Insurance and will be a great opportunity to engage a sector that has largely been missing from the Logan Chamber of Commerce roster.
Alex Milosevic, as the Industry Champion for Hospitality has had discussions with many of our top Logan hospitality companies. This is a particularly hard industry to pull together as they are always on.
Sandy Clarke is our Medical Industry and is coordinating with WorkCover to have a meeting for the industry on this topic. Most of the interest to date has been from practice managers rather than individual physicians.
As with every industry specific focus group, the landscape is evolving as we discover what businesses in these industries need.
Julie Hall from Commonwealth Bank has volunteered to be the Financial Services Industry Champion but due to family commitments, won’t be able to start until early 2022.