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Paula Martin. Paula Martin.
10 February 2019 Posted by 

One month in and Paula has big plans for business

TERRY COLLINS
IN her first month in the job, new Regional Director for NSW Business Chamber Central Coast Paula Martin is already full of plans to address the problems of the region’s small businesses and the disturbing youth unemployment rate on the Coast.
“Small business is struggling on the Coast and that is largely because owners have such a huge operational spend that they are not able to invest in their businesses,” she said.
 
Ms Martin said energy costs, the impact of the drought and the uncertainty over the NSW and Federal elections had all contributed to subdued confidence felt by business owners all over the state, according to the Chamber’s latest quarterly survey.
 
And although a quick glance at the figures might indicate that the Central Coast is doing better than the state average in the area of confidence, Ms Martin said the lift was much lower in the region than its usual for the time of year.
 
One of the single biggest outlays faced by small business is ever-escalating energy costs, but the Chamber can help.
 
“We can help businesses reduce their energy spend buy helping them compare various energy providers,” Ms Martin said
 
“The results can be direct and immediate – we have helped Coast businesses save $500,000 in the past three months.”
 
Businesses can apply to the Chamber for help, providing their latest energy bill, and the Chamber will compare providers through its Australian Business Energy program and help owners review their energy usage every year.
 
“Many small businesses are also having marketing difficulties with a real gap in online skills,” Ms Martin said.
 
“We can hep them maximise their online presence; we can offer website guidance and help them look at their customer base – what the customers’ needs are, what their motives are – and we can help businesses develop a targeted campaign.”
 
Ms Martin said small businesses could often benefit by collaboration.
 
“For instance, if you have three hairdressers in a small area, instead of them being in competition, they could join forces and market the area as a premier hairstyling destination,” she said. 
 
“They could draw people in by perhaps each offering a different specialty – it’s all about mindset and our online tool business propel can offer links to help.”
 
Ms Martin said one of her biggest aims would be continuing to push government to remove red tape which can see businesses caught up in unnecessary and time consuming paperwork.
 
“We want to see the business registration fee removed and the payroll tax threshold altered.
 
“These two things could save businesses thousands. I am determined to see the Coast business community thriving. The area is full of potential and we don’t want to be left behind.”
 
Another huge cause for concern is the level of youth unemployment on the Coast.
 
“Our region has the third worst figures in the state, and we will be agitating hard for a fair share of the government’s $100M youth re-engagement funding to help our young people into the workforce.
 
“With the State election now less than two months away, it is vital that those parties looking to form the next Government understand the true nature of current business conditions and just how important it is to have policies that assist business to invest and create new jobs.
 
“It’s why the NSW Business Chamber is campaigning on a platform of Keeping NSW Number 1 because although the economy is the envy of other States, we need to keep the economy running at full capacity,” Ms Martin said.


editor

Michael Walls
Publisher
P: 0407 783 413
E: Michael@accessnews.com.au

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Central Coast Business Access (CCBA) covers the business and community issues of the NSW Central Coast region. CCBA is a prime media source for connecting with the pulse of the region and tapping into it's vast opportunities.