Margaret River’s Chamber of Commerce has enjoyed a smooth handing of the guard with deputy Miriam Bailey appointed to the presidency. While the town’s main trading body won’t hold its annual general election until August 23, nominations for the presidency closed on Wednesday. Outgoing president Melissa d’Ath — who has steered the traders’ group through one of the most tumultuous periods on the town’s recent retail history, including the pandemic and redevelopment of the main street — was unable to recontest her position because of a three-year cap on the presidency. Ms Bailey put her hand up unopposed. Local business operators keen to get involved still had the chance to get on the chamber committee by nominating at this month’s AGM to be held at Margaret River TAFE winery building at 5pm. Ms d’Ath told the Times she was honoured to serve the community for the past three terms. “While it has been a challenging time with the Main Street Makeover and COVID-19 constantly changing the environment in which we operate, the chamber has gone from strength to strength,” she said. Apart from those challenges and the chamber’s concerns a recently approved, yet-unplanned supermarket in Rapids Landing could split the local economy, highlights during the ex-president’s tenure included the Local Is More campaign run with the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, the Local Is More gift card supporting town businesses, and the chamber securing a permanent presence in the CBD at its Margaret River Business Hub. “We are thrilled to provide a central space where businesses can access advice, training, information and support,” Ms d’Ath said. “Volunteering for the chamber reminds me what a wonderful community we live in. “I love the support and comradery of our local business community and I look forward to welcoming our new board members and president at the AGM.” Taking up her new role later this month, Ms Bailey said the chamber had supported her since she brought her small business to Margaret River six years ago. She strongly encouraged business operators to get involved in the partnerships and advocacy provided by the chamber.