Thank you is a word that can never be used enough and as I prepare to complete my tenure as CEO of Business SA this Friday and hand over the reins to Andrew Kay, it’s a word that I am using frequently.
Business SA is the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the independent peak body for the business community in South Australia. Having been a public voice for many thousands of business owners over the last few years during times of drought, bushfires, a global pandemic and now inflation, supply chain disruption, labour shortages, rising energy costs and spiraling cost pressures, I have drawn upon my own leadership, business, policy and advocacy experience to support our members across all industries as they have navigated so many challenges and hopefully some opportunities.
However, as we all know, teams achieve much more than any solo effort ever could. Thank you to Nikki Govan and the Business SA Board of Directors for supporting our team and members with such strong governance, insight and strategy. Thank you to my executive directors and valued team of 65 employees who have individually and collectively risen to the challenge of supporting our members with unwavering advocacy, expert advice, programs and services.
With almost 4,000 members employing over 100,000 South Australians, Business SA deeply values the vitally important and sometimes under recognised contribution of small to medium sized businesses in South Australia. Thank you to everyone who has taken a risk to build a business, build a better life for themselves and their families, provide career opportunities for others and prosperity for our state. If South Australia loses its appetite for risk, we lose everything.
With 20% of our members located across regional South Australia, thank you to regional business owners and our colleagues at the regional chambers of commerce across the state. Business SA values your contribution and collaboration. Thank you to the leaders of the other industry and business associations in South Australia. Together we achieved so much more.
Thank you to our peak body in Canberra, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Your advocacy for JobKeeper along with the support of former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg saved thousands of businesses from collapse. Thank you to my fellow CEOs who lead the other chambers of commerce around the nation. Your counsel is so valuable.
Thank you to former Premier Steven Marshall, former Treasurer Rob Lucas and former ministers for working closely with Business SA as we responded to the uncertainties of what seemed like daily challenges being thrown at the business community over the last two years.
Thank you to Police Commissioner Grant Stevens and Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier. Your tireless efforts were so vital during the heat of the COVID storm.
Thank you to Premier Malinauskas, Treasurer Mullighan, Minister Michaels and other ministers and state government executives for being so proactive in working with the business community. Long may it continue.
Thank you to Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor and the Mayors, Chief Executives, and staff of many local councils around our state for stepping up to support your local business communities.
I believe in free enterprise and value experience over opinion. Thank you to over 60 mentors who volunteer so much of their time and expertise to help the participants of Business SA’s Encore and SAYES entrepreneurship programs. I believe in freedom of speech and thank you to the media for working so closely with Business SA to ensure that everyone is kept informed about the issues that really matter.
Most importantly, thank you to Business SA’s valued members. You are the lifeblood of our organisation. I plan to take a leaf out of your books and return to private enterprise. However, more about that later. For now, it’s thank you to everyone. Anon.
With kind regards,
Martin Haese MBA