Developing plans to support our towns
AUSTRALIAN business is in for another tough slog in 2013 according to John Murray, Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager.
"There is no indication the international economy will improve dramatically or that we will see any pressure taken off the high Australian dollar," Mr Murray said.
"The only silver lining may be further reductions in interest rates, but the benefit of those cuts will depend on the major banks passing on the full savings to their business and mortgage customers.
Mr Murray said the chamber would have four main areas of focus over the coming 12 months.
"Firstly it will be important to develop a regionalised approach to economic development," Mr Murray said.
"We need an approach to economic development that supports the strengths of our various towns and regional cities rather than a competition between councils that sees us miss economic opportunities.
"We also need to create a tourism brand that showcases what the Northern Rivers has to offer in terms of experiences."
Mr Murray said the chamber's board had also been developing a proposal aimed at improving the relationship between small business and local government.
"This is about changing local government culture into one that embraces small business and creates a friendlier, welcoming, less bureaucratic relationship," he said.
"I am hopeful the proposal will be accepted in the first quarter of 2013 and will attract support from several regional councils before it goes to other regions in NSW.
He said the business community would also continue to advocate the Ten Big Ideas to Grow the Northern Rivers campaign launched in the lead-up to the last state election.