Murray Bridge's new business association is gathering momentum, having signed up 45 members in its first four months.
The Murray Bridge Business Alliance (MBBA) was formed out of three groups – the Murraylands Enterprise Estate, Murray Bridge Business and Tourism and Bridge Street Traders – in May.
Since then, committee member Sonia Hein said, it had built a strong base: mostly businesses from the first two groups, plus a few which were new to the city.
"We're really happy with where we're sitting at the moment," she said.
"We hope to sign up another 20 members by the end of the year."
She said the alliance's main role would be to advocate for all businesses, members or not, with the Murray Bridge council and other bodies.
It would also deliver more training for business owners and managers in 2018, in partnership with the Murray Bridge TAFE campus.
"Our services and events are open to anyone," Ms Hein said.
We are here for all businesses in the Murraylands, whether you're a paid member or not. Our services and events are open to anyone.
"We're not a closed shop."
The benefits to paid members include discounts on Business SA membership and MBBA events and a listing in the alliance's soon-to-be-launched business directory.
Former Business and Tourism chairperson Daryl Webb was chosen to chair the alliance at a meeting on July 1, and the former leaders of the other two groups, John Beauchamp and Steve Burgess, also serve on its committee.
Alongside them at meetings twice per month are Regional Development Australia's Ms Hein, Jo Podoliak and Jarrod Bielby; 5MU's Stephen Walker; the Davery Establishment's David Phillips; Bridge Street Boutique's Julie Norris; and Murray Nankivell's Heath Nankivell.
Council chief executive officer Michael Sedgman and Councillor Tyson Matthews also sit in on the alliance's committee meetings to keep the lines of communication open.
The alliance came about after the attendees at a forum in 2016 recommended more collaboration between Murray Bridge's business groups.
A survey of business owners and managers revealed strong support for a combined group which would give them a voice at the council, join forces on promotion and marketing, and build the city's profile.
Respondents also wanted more fellowship, support, training and celebration of successes.
- More information: www.mbbusinessalliance.com.