The new executive administrator for Horsham's peak business advocacy body has laid out her focus for the next 12 months.
Grain buyer Sarah Kelm, who has worked for the likes of GrainCorp and AGT Foods over the past 20 years, is into her third week overseeing Business Horsham, having taken over from founding leader Wendy Mitchell of Dags Quality Screen Printing and Hip Pocket Workwear.
"I think I feel a responsibility to carry on Wendy's legacy," Ms Kelm said.
"She's worked very hard along with the business community to make Horsham what it is today."
Business Horsham currently boasts 170 members across Horsham Rural City and as far north as Rupanyup. Ms Kelm said she hoped this number would continue to rise, particularly where agribusiness was concerned.
"Given my background in agriculture and agribusiness, I'd like promote further growth in those industry sectors such as trade, agriculture and service providers, and grow their membership in Business Horsham, so we have a really diverse voice when we need to talk to members about issues and opportunities,"she said.
"We have a good following from the retail sector, but I'm really looking at how we can provide networking and support for those service industries.
“Given Horsham is on the verge of great things with mines and wind farms, that's probably a focus of my role."
Ms Kelm said given agriculture was a seasonal industry, the livelihoods of those involved were heavily dependent on weather.
She sees more agribusiness members joining Business Horsham as an opportunity for them to network, and to share information such as market reports and climate data in a non-competitive environment.
“From an agricultural point of view, I think there are a lot of areas of support Business Horsham could give,” she said.
“There’s that level of mediation and facilitation we can provide businesses, not just when they have a problem, but just generally assisting them with their business.
“A lot of service-based businesses join (Business Horsham) for the networking, but others join for different sorts of support: Anything from human resource management, OH and S, any legalities or questions they might have for running their business.”
Business Horsham hosted its final executive meeting for the year on Tuesday night.
Ms Kelm said they would decide on a plan for next year's business events in February.
Grain growing employed 263 people in the Horsham Council area in 2016, the third most of any industry.