From the President - February 2024

February 15, 2024

It has been a great start to 2024 with great weather and lots of visitors enjoying the Hastings area and spending money locally. This helps build our area with the money reinvested through wages, etc helping the whole area to grow. I was speaking to a few visitors recently down near Town Green and other areas around town, and they were all saying the same thing to me. That the area is beautiful, the beaches are lovely and there are some great places to visit for adults, kids(and those young at heart). What impressed them the most was how friendly our area was. That people walk down the street and smile at you and say hello. What a great way for our area to be remembered and encourage visitors to come again.

Many aren’t aware that at Business Port Macquarie we do so much more than just hold monthly networking events. We have a board of 12 highly motivated local business people who voluntarily give their time and are passionate about improving opportunities for business. Some of the ways we do this is by advocating on behalf of a business when they have an issue or an idea that can assist the area. We also have our Executive officer Malcolm Neale and new Executive Assistant Kylie Morris, who would love to meet you and hear of any ideas or issues that are affecting business and what you would like us to work on.

Meeting with and lobbying all levels of government we can bring to their attention the needs of the business community. Some issues we are working on now have to do with telecommunications in the area and how telcos and government working together can improve this. Another is the issue of the heavy silting of the Hastings River. With the huge build-up of sand, it is getting very difficult for navigation of fishermen, tourism operators and other businesses that rely of the river. This is something that affects us all as a community. We become the conduit between business and government as to how we can work together with all stakeholders to reach a successful outcome for everyone. We also have discussions regarding workforce availability and how we can not only bring workers to fill the gaps to the area but also what housing opportunities are there for these workers.

I have been really impressed and excited recently by some of the great connections that are coming together in the district. There are a variety of network organisations in the area including Hastings Business Women’s Network, Micro Business Forum, Greater Port Macquarie Tourism Association, Wauchope Chamber, Camden Haven Chamber, Regional Development Australia, Business NSW and Business PortMacquarie. Representatives of these groups meet regularly. We discuss the needs of business in the area and how we can collaborate to make a difference for our Region. A big shout out to Council’s Economic Development section who have also been joining these meetings and listening to our ideas, needs and how they can collaborate and work with us all to bring these ideas to fruition to benefit businesses and locals alike.

Our events calendar for February to July 2024 has now been launched. Visit our website and mark your diaries for some great upcoming events.

Our other big news is we will be launching our annual Coastline Credit Union Greater PortMacquarie Business awards on the 6th February 2024. Entry is open to all businesses in the Hastings LGA and we would love to hear of your achievements. Be proud and let your business shine. To enter go to Entries close 29thMarch. Get started on your entries today and we look forward to seeing you a tour Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday 18th May.

As you can see, we are off and running with another exciting year and looking forward to making 2024 the best year yet.

And remember “If your dreams don’t scare you they are too small” Richard Branson.

Until next month,