AS MANY are aware there has been, and there is planned, a multitude of major infrastructure developments in the Great Southern; 2020 impacted everyone, and since the election many are wondering where we go from here.
But how does all that affect our local businesses?
We all know that construction and trades are in current short supply and it will be a few years yet before the new wave of apprentices comes through as qualified to help relieve some of the pressure – this is, of course, if the next wave comes.
Let us be honest, for many of those about to leave school the life of a ‘tradie’ is not that appealing or glamorous and the lure of the big smoke is always enticing.
However, as a tradesperson there is some good money to be made and opportunity to make a difference in the local community.
It may not be seen as all glitz, but it is imperative that this next generation are supported and indeed encouraged to become apprentices and down the track start up their own business in the region.
The Albany Business Centre have helped many trades people make the transition from employment to business, resulting in average additional employment at the rate of 4:1.
With COVID-19 virtually bypassing the Great Southern (for that we can be thankful) we have had our own struggles with those locally, interstate and globally who have been affected.
Supply has predominantly become an issue and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future, however, industries such as tourism have survived through local visitors and there have been some great initiatives taken by Chambers of Commerce and local shires to promote the region, thus bringing yet more Australians and the required dollar with them.
Our local businesses have, in general, adapted to the new norm through these challenges and continue to look for ways to add value.
New business ventures are coming through the Albany Business Centre daily and many of these are ‘regular people’ who want to make a difference in their own lives and also in the community.
Overall, we are in a fairly strong position to move into the next financial year, but we must all be aware that things will remain tight for a little while longer.
Buying local and supporting local is the responsibility of everyone in the Great Southern, where possible.
As City of Albany CEO Andrew Sharp stated in a recent press release: ‘roughly 70 cents of every dollar spent at a local Albany business stays in the community’
Mark Shenton, Albany Business Centre Executive Officer.