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Retail expert John Stanley shared ideas on how to maximise current trends and leverage home town advantage in his presentations in Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Bowen during Small Business Week.
The events were organised by Whitsunday Reginal Council in conjunction with the respective Chambers of Commerce.
Titled ‘Establishing a Retail Identity in Regional Centres’, Mr Stanley shared his innovative insights which have helped many small businesses to grow and prosper.
Mr Stanley said local businesses are the blueprint for success especially in small regional towns and he encouraged the business community to “Change for the Future-jump in, the water is fine”.
To celebrate Small Business Week Mayor Andrew Willcox announced the recipients of the Whitsunday Small Business Start-Up Program.
“This council-administered grant fund targeting start-up business opportunities in the Whitsunday region is a great initiative,” he said.
“It is a competitive and merit-based grant program that aims to attract and enable entrepreneurs to undertake start-up business activities.
“These businesses must align with our identified regional economic opportunities and not compete with existing business.
“The aim of the program is to deliver key growth benefits to the Whitsunday Regional economy, including more jobs for locals,” Mayor Willcox said.
The program provides monetary funding up to $10,000 which is matched by the applicant.
Successful applicants were:
Aurealis Creative Jewellery: The only manufacturing jewellery business for custom designs within a 150km radius of Airlie Beach. By establishing a unique locally designed, Whitsunday inspired jewellery line they aim to give the Whitsundays its own identity on the national and international jewellery market.
ABC Distillery: It is the first and only distillery in the Whitsundays. Boutique brands of gin are popular and ABC Distillery spirits will have unique flavours distinctive to the Whitsundays using local ingredients.
Bowen Physiotherapy: This will be the only physiotherapy practice in the Bowen community and will support the local community with an essential healthcare service that, directly and indirectly, supports all industry, including tourism, mining and agriculture.
Whitsunday Family Podiatry: Is a locally owned and operated family podiatry clinic providing tailored and quality foot health care to residents and visitors of the Whitsundays. The podiatry clinic is unique as it will be the only purpose-built podiatry clinic in the Whitsundays. It will also have specialised footwear attached to the clinic that targets people with specific foot related problems.