CBC has started 2017 on a healthy note with new memberships gaining momentum. We have seen an average of almost one business per week signing up to join our ranks as Sydney’s only industrial-specific business chamber. Welcome to ANZ bank Wetherill Park, Cobra1 Training, Strategic Audit and Spectral MS. There are just as many businesses which have indicated they will be completing their membership forms over the coming weeks. They and other visitors to our After Fives have expressed how much they enjoy the relaxed, informal atmosphere of our networking nights. They instantly feel right at home. And, they have appreciated the relevance of our speakers. We decided to trial a new format of inviting members to speak about “Will 2017 Be Better Than 2016?” and we learned how last year was both good and bad for different people, the changes they made over the break, and the optimism they have for this year. Some businesses have made drastic changes to their business models and we will be following their progress with interest. Their honesty and transparency was appreciated. We also invited Drug-Safe Communities to explain what they are doing in our region. We heard from founder Michael White who suffered the tragedy of losing his business partner and close friend to a heroin overdose, only to see his business disintegrate, and then he pioneered the service which protects employers and non-drug using workers in their work places from potential injury or accidents which can be caused by people affected by alcohol or other drugs. We met Dr Tharid Ali who is the main co-ordinator assisting businesses across Western Sydney with training, drug policy writing, internal procedures, pre-employment drug testing and periodic testing of employees.