Times are tough. Many Chamber of Commerce members have not seen times as hard as these. The so called 2 speed economy is massive mining expansion and actual contraction for those of us in SE Queensland. Retail is anaemic, construction struggling, finance is frozen, manufacturing and productivity is going backwards.
In Redlands we have a lack of investment in sorely needed infrastructure, falling employment and business confidence. Yes we are saving more as a nation but the general lack of confidence has stifled spending. People are scared to spend. On top of this we have a seemingly endless number of increased costs- commercial rates up 11.5%, a 9.9% increase in workers compensation premiums, increased water and waste water charges, increased land tax and ever threatening interest rates increases. Not to mention a new carbon tax.
These increased costs can't all be passed on and we are being asked to do more with less. Margins are shrinking. Our members are asking how did south East Queensland, the previous power house of Australia, get to this situation?
Many point to the Global Financial Crises, uncontrolled financial hubris, ineffectual governance and insufficient investment. It is a confluence of all these factors. The more important question is how do we get out of here? What is the go forward?
Your Chamber acts locally on issues affecting commerce.
On behalf of its members the Chamber is mounting a campaign to make Redlands the most attractive place to conduct business in Australia. We are blessed with one of the most attractive natural environments - the Chamber wants to have the most attractive business environment as well.
As the voice of small business we want to decrease business expenses in Redlands, increase confidence and encourage local employment. We want to increase the money spent within the city by retention of money earned here and attraction of money earned outside of the city.
We want Redlands to be at the forefront of the new economy with modern, efficient and confident businesses.
One of the many activities the Chamber does to promote this is the hosting of the Redland Business and Retail Awards. The is a chance to celebrate the many successful enterprises in the city. It helps help to stop and reflect on your business successes notwithstanding the current environment. How you are doing more with less? How you are working smarter and more efficiently? How you have tackled particular problems and issues?
Participate in the awards and learn from others who are or were in the same situation. How did they react? Why are they successful?
Times are tough. However come and participate in the awards to help yourself and your business community.
Garry Hargrave, Life Member and Former President