Dubbo chamber the best in the industry

THE DUBBO Chamber of Commerce and Industry has been named winner of the 2012 NSW Business Awards.

Dubbo Chamber of Commerce President Sandy Dunshea travelled to Friday night's awards ceremony in Sydney with board members Toni Beatty and Megan Dixon.

Last month, the Chamber was notified it was a NSW finalist based on a submission that focused on its achievements during the past 12 months.

Mr Dunshea said the chamber's members were "surprised and thrilled" by the win.

He said the NSW Business Awards were similar to Dubbo's own Rhino Awards with categories recognising outstanding businesses but with a category dedicated to the best chamber out of eight regions in NSW.

Dubbo region takes in a large part of the state including an area from Lithgow to Narromine and from Mudgee to Cowra.

"Initially we were informed we were the finalist in our region, and now we've been lucky enough to take out the Chamber of the Year award," he said.

"We were up against some pretty big chambers with in excess of 1000 members, like Newcastle."

Mr Dunshea said the chamber had spent a lot of time and resources on developing the content and quality of its website.

He said elements including online booking facilities where members could book and pay for chamber events and that recorded membership details, as well as member-to-member benefits contributed to the win.

"We've also had fantastic membership growth in the last seven to eight months at around 47 per cent," he said.

Being recognised at a state level for the hard work the board members have put in this year is what Mr Dunshea believes is the most satisfying aspect of the win.

"It was a good opportunity to help promote Dubbo and put the city on the map," he said.

"Everything was going to businesses in Wollongong, Newcastle and Sydney."

"They referred to Penrith as being "out west", so I just enlightened them by saying there was plenty of activity beyond the sandstone curtain."

Mr Dunshea thanked all the Dubbo Chamber of Commerce members for their support and looked forward to even better outcomes in the future.

lisa.minner@ruralpress.com

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