Warrnambool businesses have been urged to form their own chamber of commerce, with the small business commissioner warning they could miss out if they don't.
Small business commissioner Lynda McAlary-Smith met with Warrnambool City Council, Moyne Shire Council and businesses across both municipalities during her two-day visit.
Ms McAlary-Smith said Moyne Shire and Commerce Moyne were doing some great work trying to build up its business community.
And while the peer support among businesses in Port Fairy and Warrnambool was thriving, she said the larger city needed to get its business community together in a more formalised way.
"In Port Fairy they are doing some great stuff about building up Commerce Moyne so that they have business-led chambers," she said.
"Where I've seen small businesses working really well with councils is usually when there is a really active business chamber, and there's not in Warrnambool."
Ms McAlary-Smith said she had been talking with Warrnambool council and businesses about what she could do to support the creation of a business chamber for the city.
"I don't see it as council's role to set up a chamber. It's got to come from business," she said.
"You've got to have willing participants who are really keen to do it, but there's support and things we can do to help.
"I think Warrnambool will really benefit from that."
Ms McAlary-Smith said it would give Warrnambool businesses a strong voice to council and on the new alliance of regional chambers of commerce.
"You don't want Warrnambool to be left out because then government will consult with the regional chamber alliance because it's efficient and they feel like they are talking to the regions," she said.
"And if Warrnambool doesn't have one then they're missing out."
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