Business, chamber of commerce, councillors and council staff attend meeting on business skills and needs.

RDANI representative David Thompson, council economic and community development manager Mark Connolly and councillor Sue Price.

RDANI representative David Thompson, council economic and community development manager Mark Connolly and councillor Sue Price.

ABOUT 40 businesspeople and other local stakeholders attended a meeting in Moree on Wednesday evening to discuss two projects to help boost business in the area.

David MacLellan

David MacLellan

Chamber of commerce representatives, councillors and council staff also attended, to discuss the progress of the projects designed to profile the labour market and any skills gaps, and provide help to fill those.

Moree Plains Shire Council economic and community development manager Mark Connolly said the meeting had touched on a wide range of topics and was just one part of a broad effort to enhance economic and community development. 

“These two projects are not a panacea but just two projects we’re moving forward with – and there will be others.”

They have been funded under a program designed to help alleviate the impact of the Murray Darling Basin Plan. The council, the chamber and Regional Development Australia Northern Inland (RDANI) had teamed up to deliver the projects using the “two small pots of money”, Mr Connolly said.

The projects are a labour market and skills gap study, and identifying local mentors the three groups can partner with to develop skills workshops for business owners, manager and staff.

“There’s a local businessperson here that’s extremely motivated and very positive, and we’d like to engage with him to run workshops,” Mr Connolly said.

“With local people, they know local issues and local challenges. Often you might try and bring in an expert from out of Sydney or somewhere, and they don’t know the local flavour or engage as well with local business people.”

Wednesday’s meeting attendees will be contacted for feedback on the discussions.

Meanwhile, Mr Connolly said another two plans in the pipeline were an ‘escape expenditure’ study and a business-to-business retention program.

The former will look at where, why and how much money local residents spend outside the Moree area, and how businesses can work to retain that spending locally.

The latter will investigate the same out-of-town spending by Moree businesses, and how other local businesses could meet those needs.

Mr Connolly also said the council and chamber business confidence survey had been extended to February 20. It can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RQ2G8SS

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