Forum encourages innovative ideas

EXPANDING a business can be a “mine field” if you don’t know how to plan. That was one of the motivating scenarios behind the Innovation Forum to be held at the Wide Bay TAFE Gympie campus on July 8.

“The forum came about after talks with people running businesses in the area,” Gympie Regional Council Deputy Mayor and Community and Economic Development committee chairman Tony Perrett said.

“Some of those businesses are constantly developing new products and services, and that’s how they expand.

“Council has assembled a group of guest speakers to talk about how to develop innovative products and services, and how it will help business go forward.”

Businesses attending the forum may also set up a display to showcase their products and services to the general public. Cost of attending the day-long forum is $22.

“It can be difficult to be away from a business for a whole day so from next week people can visit council’s website and pick out which sessions they want to attend. They can phone Lynne Wilbraham on 5481 0744 to discuss a reduced rate for attending some sessions.”

Cr Perrett said James Arkle from Lagoon Pocket B&B and Wayne Morris from Mary Valley Timbers would speak on how they introduced innovative practices to their respective businesses to give a “real world perspective”.

There will also be representatives from state and federal government to discuss funding and assistance. Principal regional development officer Gil Harkness will talk specifically about manufacturing. Another focus of the forum is to help local businesses do business outside the region.

“Council does not want to tell people how to run a business. Our role is to help where we can,” Ms Harkness said.

“That help may be quite minimal as there are a lot of successful businesses in our area or it may be quite major assistance. All council departments work as one entity to help a business. We want to encourage business, whether existing or looking to come to our region, to make council their first port of call and we can put them in touch with chambers of commerce or manufacturing networks or whatever is appropriate for them.”

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