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Looking past COVID-19

Posted: 11am 08 Dec 2020

Thirty Moreton Bay business owners are putting their post-COVID plans into practise after completing a free six-week business workshop at University of Sunshine Coast Caboolture campus.

Mayor Peter Flannery said Council sponsored Business Planning Workshops showed a snippet of bright and diverse businesses that are leading local industries back to recovery.

“Seeing businesses bring their business plans to life shows how much talent we have in our region,” Mayor Flannery said.

“Small business is the heart of our business community and Council was very pleased to support the USC Business Planning Workshops to support and inspire a new set of entrepreneurs.

“The call for entrepreneurs went out and Moreton Bay Region answered. Congratulations to the 2020 cohort of businesses who didn’t let COVID-19 stop their great business ideas.

“Council was proud to support this initiative and support small business across our great region in what has been a challenging environment. All the best to each and every one of them as they take their business to market.”

Bright ideas

One of the brilliant local business ideas came from Wamuran’s Little White Goat Cheese owner Karen Lindsay who recently invented a new product called the Luv Handle.

“We lost 98 per cent of restaurant cheese sales during COVID, so we wanted to come up with something new, and being farmers we’ll try anything,” she said.

“The Luv Handle is a recyclable, reusable shopping trolley cover you can use at the shopping centre to protect yourself from germs and then pop it off and throw in the dishwasher.

“I’ve never had a business plan for either of my businesses. I had one in my head, but I’d never written it down, so it was a hugely beneficial for me.

“There are a lot of facets to a business plan that I didn’t know about and I had so much fun pitching my idea that I’m now looking into further studies with USC.”

Learning to diversify

After a successful and diverse career in asset management, including valuation for utilities, Kathy King is turning her skillsets to starting her own jewellery valuation business.

“When you start out in business there’s so many different things you need to do,” she said.

“I spent a lot of time and money on equipment, security, a website and setting up my studio, but you don’t always think of all the details required in a business case.

“Even though I had thought about it, there were things I realised I needed to think about more and it helped me focus my thoughts.

“The workshops gave me more structure to make sure I had my business plan right to apply for grants to purchase equipment, which is quite expensive.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to pitch to a panel of experts and successful businesspeople and receive their valuable feedback.”

Plan to help region grow

The Business Planning Workshop series was just one of many initiatives being rolled out as part of Council’s new Draft Regional Economic Development Strategy (REDS).

REDS will clearly articulate how Council will diversify and grow the local economy, with the aim to more than double the economy to $40 billion, support 16,000 new businesses and create 100,000 new jobs by 2041.

Read the draft here: www.moretonbay.qld.gov.au/Regional-Economic-Development-Strategy

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