Back when we were not so socially distant.

Hello to all of our members and friends of the Chamber.

We all know how hard the Coronavirus is hitting – from our homes to the entire world around us. You don’t need me to tell you how bad it is nor how tough it is to operate in this environment.

What I would like to do, however, is first to congratulate the many of you who have swiftly adapted to the needs of the moment and second, to tell you how we are continuing to work to help you.

First, many of you have moved very quickly in this environment. For example, our own Erin Nash of Ellenbrook Ballet Academy ( saw the writing on the wall well in advance and shifted to online ballet instruction before she was forced to, communicating with her client-base all along the way. This put her weeks ahead of the rest and ensured she had time to work out kinks. Local Swan Valley restaurants have used their email lists to advertise that they are now providing their chef-cooked meals as takeaway services.

One of our newer members, Mark Young and colleagues at Club Physio in Ellenbrook (, are working hard to ensure safe health management and remote support for clients. Others of you have been able to secure appropriate “socially-distant” spaces to conduct work where allowed or have moved to online servicing where possible.

The ANZAC spirit and legend is one of toughness, camaraderie and good humour in the face of battle. Many of us either had parents or grandparents who left the bush for war, survived the horrors of World War II all over the world and returned or then emigrated to Australia to set up their lives in the harsh outback sun and in our fair city. We had parents who fled oppressive regimes and wars throughout South-East Asia, Africa, and South America to live lives of freedom here – freedom to live and to provide for their own in their own way.

Like many of you, I have both the ANZAC legacy and the immigrant refugee story as part of my background. For some of you, you are those very ones who left your native land seeking a new life in Australia. The rigours of life and work are not new to you.

This short period, although it may be difficult and novel, does not compare with what our parents and grandparents went through or, indeed, what some of you have already gone through in your lives. Hang tough!

Remember, the community you are a part of through the Chamber can be a great support network for you during these times. Reach out to them for assistance. Please contact me any time if you need contacts within our network.

Second, we continue to provide Chamber members benefits throughout the Crisis. Here are a few of the initiatives that we are currently undertaking to support you and the community:

1. Dedicated Website page and Social Media Updates

We’ve created a dedicated web page on the Chamber website collating the best of information related to the Coronavirus Epidemic and Crisis Management. This page is updated live from many of the included sites, with accurate and valuable info that you can use. I continue to add to this page every week.

Click through to the Coronavirus Information Page
2. Webinars relevant to the crisis

The first of our “Beat The Virus! Webinars” came last week, with invaluable insight into Financing, stimulus packages and more. More in the series will be coming soon. You can access the Finances Webinar recording here:

Click through to access the Finances Webinar
3. Voicing business and community concerns with all levels of government.

We are in contact with local, state and federal representatives to voice concerns and encourage actions to support all of our local business and community groups, from sole traders through to large organisations. For example, we have raised concerns about Federal packaging support for small and micro-businesses, including sole traders and family businesses.

4. Online Networking opportunities

We will be running online networking for Chamber members to keep members and guests connected and informed about the services they are providing, with the first experimental meeting to occur within the next 2 weeks. You will receive an invitation in your inbox.

5. Community Cabinet Online Meetings

We are forming a “Community Cabinet” to share information, concerns, insights and prompt collaborations to help our business and general community. A number of business and community leaders from across all the sectors I can find (Business, Health, Education, State, Local, Federal, NFPs) are being invited to form this cabinet, which I am proposing will meet online weekly to share information and help ensure we support each other and close any gaps in services and delivery during this crucial time. If you are not directly participating, then this Cabinet can be another means to forward concerns or ideas.

6. Support Materials

For the past several weeks, I have been posting weekly blogs related to our crisis on my business blog at You may find these valuable. Many of you have, or have access to, other valuable online resources. If you have any that you wish to share, please forward it to us and we will share it where appropriate through our site and social media.

AT ANY TIME, if you have ideas or concerns that you would like to raise, then please contact me via email, website or Facebook and we will help you wherever we can.

Wishing you all the best. Stay safe!

© 2020 Peter J. McLean

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