WVCEDA celebrates 10 years of bringing business and community together

Warburton Valley CEDA President Anna Tehan. Picture: ON FILE

By Callum Ludwig

This month Warburton Valley CEDA (WVCEDA), a not-for-profit Business and Traders advocacy group established for the businesses of the Upper Yarra, celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Since forming in 2014 (a merger between Warburton Highway Tourism and the Warburton Chamber of Commerce), the volunteer-based group has supported more than 250 businesses and currently has more than 100 active members.

WVCEDA President Anna Tehan said WVCEDA continues to be extremely proactive in advocating and supporting local businesses, which is really important for the local business network in having a unified strong voice representing Warburton Valley businesses

“WVCEDA is committed to supporting our current members and our short to medium-term goals are to grow and diversify our membership base, we are currently working with local and state level governments to showcase the businesses of our members and celebrate the strengths of our community,” she said.

“Warburton and the Upper Yarra region has potential for growth and change in the coming years and the WVCEDA committee currently consists of a range of local business owners to represent the community and support their future business”

The WVCEDA committee consists of nine active local business owners within the Warburton Valley, with representatives from hospitality, retail, manufacturing, outdoor adventure, tourism and accommodation, wellbeing, professional services and tradespeople.

Ms Tehan said one of the keys to their success has been the ability to advocate for local business and community needs at all levels of government.

“We have also developed strong and effective ties with other key groups in the Upper Yarra Valley, such as the Warburton Advancement League, Upper Yarra Community Enterprise, The Waterwheel, Yarra Ranges Tourism, Yarra Ranges Council and a range of subcommittees/ working groups, including strategic development groups.”

In the past 10 years, WVCEDA has seen many changes in the business landscape, including those as a response to the pandemic, and made representations to the planning process for several major developments. “The interest in the region for nature-based activities, and the revival of main street trading, plus the emergence of local and bespoke small businesses across a range of industries is central to current and future success,” Ms Tehan said.

WVCEDA has had continued success in receiving grant funding, which has enabled them to hold an inaugural Business Expo in May 2023, and more recently two key events promoting ‘Wellbeing in Business’. They also hold quarterly networking forums, which are well attended by new and existing members.

Ms Tehan said their initiatives will always be representative of our members and with a keen awareness of the broader community.

“We are excited about the next ten years and seeing many plans come to fruition. There are some incredible opportunities for the Warburton Valley in the pipeline,” she said.

“Our approach is to connect business and community, together we are stronger. Keeping people connected is a significant part of the value we bring.”

New members welcome. All enquiries to: Info@warburtonvalley.org