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Growing Businesses and Jobs in Northern Inland NSW

Identifying and nurturing businesses with high growth potential is the objective of a new project being run by Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI).

The Business Growth and Diversification project, which has been made possible with funding assistance from NSW Trade and Investment, will focus on the towns of Inverell, Gunnedah, Narrabri, Moree, Warialda and Wee Waa. These are local economies which could be negatively impacted by the loss of irrigation water under the Murray Darling Basin Plan.

RDANI Chair Mal Peters said, “experience in regional economic development has shown that small high-growth businesses are the engine room for job creation. While large city-based corporates are shedding jobs, there are a small number of local firms with the potential to defy that trend and help build more employment in our local economies”.

“In the United States, decades of regional economic development experience have shown that working with a targeted group of local businesses to nurture their development can be a more effective method of creating wealth and jobs than trying to convince big businesses from elsewhere to relocate to the bush,” Mr Peters said.

Identifying businesses with high growth potential is the first stage of the project, and RDANI have engaged Andrew Murray of Keystone Consulting to assist with this task. Andrew is a successful businessman and entrepreneur with real-world business experience who has established a chain of fuel and food stores throughout the region.

Stage two of the project will involve working closely with a small number of those businesses to identify the specific factors which need to be addressed to allow for their business expansion. This could include accessing new markets, competitor analysis, marketing, financial analysis, legal and staffing issues.

“The project will establish a template whereby trusted and experienced business mentors can help local firms realise their potential. Many business owners are so busy working ‘in’ their business that they lack the time to work ‘on’ their business. Our objective is to assist them to overcome this barrier and contribute to the economic development of our region at the same time,” Mr Peters said.

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