When examining the role Chambers of Commerce can play in creating a successful business environment there is a clear link between Chamber’s aspiration’s for their member’s business success and creating an environment in which it is easy to do business. A vibrant and prosperous business community can underpin a wide range of cultural and social well-beings. Creating an environment that enables business success is therefore essential to growing a sustainable and attractive region that allows all members of its communities to fulfil their potential and achieve their aspirations.

There are many elements that make up an environment that enables business. It needs a well integrated, robust and resilient infrastructure network that allows business, people, and freight to move operate to capacity and grow. A transparent and enabling regulatory framework administered in an even-handed manner that recognises the risk undertaken by private sector enterprises and the benefits to the wider community associated with business success. A positive reputation, how well an area can articulate what it has to offer –environment, lifestyle, workforce, education, opportunity, capacity – in a positive manner that is fit for purpose for a wide range of audiences. A capable pool of work-ready people. A collective will of public and private sector organisations to make doing business in the region easy ad attractive. A common touch point where anyone doing business or interested in doing business in an area can be directed to and who can be relied on to guide that person to the appropriate resources and hold those resources accountable to act as an enabler.

While several elements are clearly the domain of territorial authorities and central government some elements could be more appropriately delegated to the private sector to facilitate. The Chamber would like to see a real and visible commitment from Northland’s public and private sector organisations that deal with businesses on a daily basis that their organisation will do all they can to enable and support these commercial enterprise to grow and thrive.

This is not solely the responsibility of local and central government. All organisations should be able to clearly articulate and demonstrate a commitment to behave in a way that makes doing business with them easier. Once they have made this commitment they can then be held to account. In doing so, being business friendly can move beyond the mere rhetoric and into actual accepted behaviour and practice of our business environment.

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