The first meeting of the Northern Illawarra Chamber of Commerce for 2013 showed how much interest there was in chamber activities this year.
President Pauline Lacelles-Smith, of the Otford Pantry, said the dinner at Centennial Hotel was packed and all present congratulated John and Frances Vander of Articles Fine Art Gallery on their business turning 33.
"We have got about 100 members at the moment," Mrs Lacelles-Smith said.
"And we are doing three shop local promotions this year. We are organising at the moment a Thank You Locals promotion to thank the community for supporting local business. We are getting all the local businesses to give discounts just for locals."
The other two promotions are the annual Easter Shop Local campaign and the Christmas equivalent which was run for the first time last year.
Jason Andrews, of Your Business Profits, was invited to speak about how enterprises could build bigger businesses from the inside out.
For Mr Andrews it was a return home 30 years after he started an apprenticeship at the Port Kembla Steelworks.
The former Dapto resident said it was amazing what owners and managers found when they really looked at their businesses.
"My big message is don't look outside to build your business and attract customers when you can look inside," he said.
"Looking for new leads and new customers is important but first look at what you are doing and how you are doing it. Develop and build that and you will find there is a significant amount of untapped wealth in that area."