The former Armidale Business Chamber has officially changed its name, with Business New England the fresh face going forward.
The announcement came at a lunch hosted by Business New England a vision for the future of small business in the region was outlined.
President of Business New England, Anthony Fox, suggested the name change earlier this year and it was put to a vote at the group's AGM in July.
Back then Mr Fox said the name change had been on the cards since the amalgamation of Armidale Dumaresq Council and Guyra Shire Council in 2016.
"We were concerned the name of the chamber would be the Armidale Business Chamber, even though there was a local government area which included Guyra," Mr Fox said.
Mr Fox this week said the new name and supporting vision better reflected the aspirational goals of the business community across the region.
"It's clear the future of an organisation like Business New England lies in advocacy, providing information to members and the wider business community, networking opportunities, as well as educational and professional development opportunities" he said.
Mr Fox said the board of Business New England also recognised that the impact of changes such as rapid digitisation had been a challenge to many businesses, while COVID-19 had a severe impact upon business survival, as well as leading to changes such as employees working from home.
"Business in the region is evolving and we recognise that we need to evolve with it. As a business advocacy group, we need to focus on supporting all businesses, big and small, local tradespeople, micro-business, retailers, professionals, social entrepreneurs and start-ups," he said.
Speaking at the launch of Business New England, local MP Adam Marshall outlined a potential vision for the future of the economy and what the local Armidale region might look like in 2030.
His vision included the New England Renewable Energy Zone producing 10Kw of energy; the city hosting a major data centre; and a second runway at the Armidale airport with direct flights to the major capital cities and other regional centres.
"We have a wonderful climate, excellent water supply, amazing transport providing access to the rest of Australia (and the world) and NBN fibre to the premises," Mr Marshall said.
"We have a burgeoning clean and green energy sector under way and our region is one of the few regions which understands the benefits that will grow from the renewables sector."
"It is time for the Armidale region to take the leadership mantle in economic development. It's a vision that I think everyone can identify with, and my challenge to the business community is to bring about that vision - we have all the ingredients to reach our potential," he said.