The new package – Delivering a Natural Advantage to business – has the backing of key business groups including the Sunshine Coast Business Council, the Chambers of Commerce Alliance and council’s own Economic Development Advisory Board.
“This package marks a new approach by council and is designed to establish the Sunshine Coast as an ideal place to invest and a region which supports local business,” Mayor Bob Abbot said.
“Council’s business investment framework and local business support program will work hand in hand to help local businesses to grow, as well as encouraging appropriate new investment.
“This is about strengthening the region’s economy, encouraging jobs for the people who live here and supporting our local businesses to flourish – in what is undoubtedly a pretty difficult economic climate,” Cr Abbot said.
Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Portfolio Councillor, Lew Brennan agreed that supporting local business and encouraging business investment is critical to building resilience into the region’s economy.
“We don’t have a mining boom happening here – we are a very real demonstration of the two-speed economy. This is why it is important for council to be stepping up to the plate to help business where we can and do better than other regions when it comes to capturing new investment,” Cr Brennan said.
“In doing this, we are establishing a single entry point to council for all new business investors; we will be assigning every one of these their own client manager; and we will be working with the business community to promote regional success stories and what we have to offer.
“Furthermore, for major business investment proposals that will bring larger numbers of jobs to the region, we have established a new incentive scheme to make sure we have a better offer than other regions or can retain the existing business here,” Cr Brennan said.
Chambers of Commerce Alliance president, Myles McNamara, said the new approach promised greater cohesiveness between business, the chambers and council.
“This is a key policy for council which the Coast’s chambers can plug into and will provide greater certainty,” he said.
“This will ensure a more seamless relationship between two organisations which are constantly fielding business enquiries from both within and outside the region.”
Sunshine Coast Business Council Chair, Jason Law, said he welcomed the renewed focus by council on supporting local businesses and reinvestment in the region.
“It is critical for the sustainability of the Sunshine Coast that council and key business groups unite to focus on job creation to support the projected growth of the region, these are important steps towards achieving ‘One Vision, One Voice’ for the Sunshine Coast,” he said.
Sunshine Coast Economic Development Advisory Board chair, Greg Livingstone, said the Board has given its unreserved support to the package.
“This is good policy at work, is evidenced based, well constructed and comprehensive. Both elements address the needs of existing businesses and potential new entrants, both of whom will play a major role in delivering a stronger Sunshine Coast,” Mr Livingstone said.