EDITORIAL: New England business booming from innovation, collaboration and elbow grease

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting.

It’s an incredibly daunting figure, and anyone who owns their own business knows just how difficult it can be to stay afloat.

Which it is why it is incredibly important that we, as a community, support our local businesses, and that our local businesses support each other.

Jay Lynch, who owns Tamworth cafe Hopscotch, said it best when The Leader interviewed him early last year, regarding a report that said Tamworth businesses are 50 per cent less likely to be on the brink of collapse compared to Sydney businesses.

“The rising tide lifts all boats,” Mr Lynch said – aka, when one business is doing well, we all profit. The region’s business chambers don’t get enough credit in this regard.

They do a fantastic job helping businesses to network and come together to achieve the same goal – a stronger business community.

Recently, The Leader spoke to Armidale-based small business owner, Joy Bowles, who is starting her own online business (Essential Oils Education with Dr Joy), taking advantage of the city’s high-speed fibre-to-the-premise NBN.

She was full of praise for the Armidale Business Chamber and the support it has provided her.

While the online boom is not a new phenomenon, it can be a strange and difficult world for those venturing into it for the first time. 

In fact, the New England region has some of the best business chambers in the state, and we have the runs on the board to prove it. Last year, the Gunnedah Business Chamber was named the best chamber in the state, which is no easy feat, particularly for a small regional chamber competing against the giant, well-funded chambers of Sydney.

The NSW Business Chamber recognised the fruits of the chamber’s labour to strengthen international relationships with China, which has lead to a range of opportunities in the cotton, beef and linseed industries. One local business to benefit is juice producer Gunnible Oranges, who now ships 20ft containers of fruit every 10 days to China during harvest.

It’s this kind of innovation, collaborative working and good old-fashion elbow grease that will keep our businesses strong, even in the face of a sluggish economy.

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