SIMPLE PLEASURES: The Brunswick Chamber of Business Report indicates lack of support for paid parking.
SIMPLE PLEASURES: The Brunswick Chamber of Business Report indicates lack of support for paid parking. Contributed

Paid parking still on the nose with Brunswick heads business

A NEW business survey conducted by Brunswick Heads Chamber of Commerce indicates businesses there collectively rate their town with an average score of 7.5 out of 10 as a place to do business.

This is a slight drop from last survey in 2015 with most reporting being stretched, with increasing challenges and pressures. Most Businesses owners also say Byron Shire Council is falling short of expectations in some areas.

The comprehensive Business Survey is conducted by the Chamber every three to four years. This is the sixth survey with data drawn from 70 businesses.

"Data is critical,” Acting Chamber President, Juliana Harmsen said. "The survey provides the opportunity for our local businesses to articulate their needs and how they think the local business environment could be improved."

Key findings from the survey include:

- 20.3% are one person businesses, 48.4% operate with 4 staff while the number of businesses with 5 or more staff is up.

- 48.6% of businesses were established in the last 5 years, with 11.4% starting up in the last year alone.

- Work/life balance, marketing and social media were listed as the highest priorities for businesses development assistance.

- Apart from holiday accommodation, retail leads the mix of micro and small businesses, followed by hospitality with 27 eateries, then health & beauty, professional and recreation.

Most businesses surveyed want to maintain the status quo on holiday letting. On the issue of paid parking, businesses haven't felt heard by Council with more than 90% of businesses predicting negative impacts on their businesses, jobs and the town's economy it were introduced.

"We will use this data and information to provide the framework for our Chamber's strategic plan for the next 3 years to support our local businesses. We will also use it to liaise with Council on the issues that matter to them,” said Ms Harmsen.

"We sincerely thank Enova Community Energy, Greg O'Reilly Solicitors, Hotel Brunswick, Byron Shire Real Estate, Byron Cellars and North Coast Lifestyle Properties for contributing to the survey implementation costs, presentation night and draw prizes.”

Full report available at: www.brunswickheads.org.au or can be purchased from the Brunswick Heads Visitor Centre.


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