Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP joined small business owners from Harden for the Harden Regional Development Corporation’s (HRDC) first ever Business for Breakfast event.

The breakfast, held on January 17 at the Harden Country Motel, was a chance for businesses from the region to come together and discuss policy, network and find out what’s happening around town.

“Coming from a small business background myself, I am so impressed with the fantastic work of the HRDC Committee.

“It was great to catch up with so many local business owners on the things that matter to them. The HRDC is growing and strengthening and I can’t wait to see it reach its full potential.”

HRDC CEO Tony Holland said it was a strong meeting with 35 people in attendance.

“Instead of running a formal chamber of commerce we thought it would be good to bring the business community together to share ideas, meet and learn from one another,” Mr Holland said.

“We sold out completely and ended up taking out all the tables and chairs, letting people stand to open it up even further.”

At the first breakfast, the HRDC launched their strategic plan and initiatives, including a groundbreaking workplace wellbeing program

The program is a community-wide strategy to improve wellbeing in the workplace, encompassing training, health screening and support.

“Once this is rolled out we will be the only place in Australia with a program like this which encompasses an entire community,” Mr Holland said.

“It provides an overview of what wellbeing is, health screening for things like diabetes risk, cardiovascular disease risk and chronic disease, as well as 12 months of coaching, advice, referrals and discounted local gym memberships.

“It will effectively provide a report on the state of physical, mental and organisational health of the entire Hilltops region, which is a pretty fantastic thing.”

The program is free for local businesses with Blantyre Farms sponsoring the rollout.

It launches next Monday with Madden’s Transport, with the goal to have every workplace participating within 12 months.

The Business for Breakfast events are running once every three months, with the next on April 4 at The Muddy Duck. Tickets are available through Eventbrite.