With the Bendigo Small Business Festival in full swing it is a good time to put my thoughts down on why you don’t have to be a small business owner, or work for one to see why it is great for Bendigo.
When I moved to Bendigo with my husband and young kids in 2008, the first thing our friends and family did was exclaim ‘’but what will you be missing out on?” “what about the services and the choice you had here in Melbourne?” .…hang on we all know the internet eliminates almost all of that, we are only a click away from almost anything in the world, whether we move to Bendigo is irrelevant.
What is relevant though is that my family can rest assured knowing that in the Bendigo region alone there are 7500 businesses (source: City of Greater Bendigo Business Support Directory, 2016). Offering a vast array of services, products and contributing to significant industries making a mark across the country. So as a resident and rate payer I can transact with these businesses, but the future potential to contribute to these businesses success exists for each member of my family. I might also be in the fortunate position to start or own a business myself one day!
Small business is one of the largest employment vehicles in our region
This is important, I want to live in a region that empowers all communities and individuals to succeed, and this includes business. I am incredibly fortunate in my community roles to be able to work with local business owners. I hear of their trials and tribulations, but savour the stories of their success and triumphs. Where I live and work, local businesses make possible the events they sponsor, support numerous fundraisers, and many business owners volunteer an immense amount of time in their communities. Without the energy of local business, a community is lacking. They are an integral piece of the puzzle, in towns, suburbs and cities, we know they make a difference to they way a place not only looks, but feels.
This month, as a Director of the Strathfieldsaye and District Community Enterprise, I will be a panel moderator for a terrific networking breakfast “Homegrown Made Good” (Friday 26 August 2016) where we will hear from an engaging panel of 'home grown' locals, who have 'made good' on the growth and future potential of Strathfieldsaye and Districts. I look forward to meeting and networking with others to discover and hear of some secrets to running a successful small business in Bendigo. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
So as a candidate who knows you don’t have to be in small business to support it, it is essential to create an economic future that prospers with continued council support. I believe in the importance of fostering and nurturing the business sector and industry, focusing on retaining local jobs, and encouraging graduates to return to Bendigo.
After all, I want to know that council decisions ensure longevity and opportunity that will continue to build on a future that my family, children and others can be a part of. Knowing they may well want to spread their wings and explore, but that they want to come back because the opportunities of our region are equal if not better to anywhere in the world. The skills, experience, connections and networks they will bring back with them continuing to make our communities great.
COMMUNITY. INTEGRITY. ACTION.
Yvonne Wrigglesworth is a Councillor in the Eppalock Ward, City of Greater Bendigo Council.