Bright future for finalists

If there’s one thing that’s common to the 115 finalists in the 20th Sunshine Coast Business Awards (SCBA) it’s a sense of optimism. With only weeks to go until the Gala Awards Ceremony, finalists are eager to learn if they will take out the top honours in their respective award categories. As the 35 SCBA judges collate their comments they have seen some trends emerging.

Rhonda Billett-Haire of Nambour’s, Uptown Hair Studio has been a SCBA Hall of Fame judge for the past two years. Her business has won a swag of SCBAs previously and has been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Rhonda is now “giving back” to the SCBA community as a judge.

“It may sound obvious but one of the key aspects of having a successful business is to always look ahead for future opportunities and then focus on how your business’ key strengths can take advantage of those opportunities, Rhonda said.

“Our finalists emanate from 35 different locations across the region but one of the key trends this year is that many of our finalists have talked about how positive they feel about the future and how the local economy seems to have turned a corner. There’s a lot of positivity and enthusiasm about what the future might hold, not only for their businesses but for growth in the region in general.”

Finalists were asked about their thoughts on the region’s future growth.

Will Conn, an Aquaculture Development Manager with Glenview based business, RADAQUA agrees that the future is looking bright for business. RADAQUA is an aquaculture consultancy and construction service which has been operating for 18 years. It boasts local, national and international clients.

“We’re really excited to be competing as a finalist in this years’ awards, Will said. “We’re a proud, local business and we’re committed to returning as much benefit to the Sunshine Coast as possible. We employ suitably qualified local people, engage local businesses and service providers and work with local universities and stakeholder bodies.

“We see great future opportunities for our business. A dynamic and growing coast economy is good for business, good for our employees and their families and most importantly good for the region.”

Another SCBA finalist, Linda Delamotte, Managing Director of Buderim based Your Home Care has used her 20 years’ previous career experience working in nursing, human resources and business management to arrive at her current business model which provides qualified, in-home care to clients who are managing health issues or wishing to live independent lives.

“I see major projects such as the new Sunshine Coast Hospital and Kawana Health precinct as exciting opportunities for my business as well as the Maroochydore CBD and airport expansion,” Linda said.

Anne Lawrence of Noosa Boardroom sees continued growth in the Coast’s economy as critical for her business and that the business environment is changing.

“Our business, and the entire Sunshine Coast economy is growing and whilst tourism has always been the anchor, other segments of the economy are truly starting to prosper, Anne said.

“With digital innovation, businesses can operate from any location around the world, making the Sunshine Coast a very attractive destination from which to work.  Collaboration between groups, and organisations across the Coast are helping to make connections and helping each other grow, creating a better place for everyone to do business.”

Caloundra Jetski Hire and Safaris’ Ken Jeffreys said that sensible and sustainable economic growth “is not only desirable but essential.”

He sees a change in the region’s economy but also on a more local level in his own Caloundra community citing the works done by the local Chamber of Commerce in order to “revitalise the Caloundra CBD and reposition the town’s brand with an emphasis on energy and adventure.”

“Pumicestone Passage will be a catalyst for growth as more people discover the beauty of this extraordinary waterway,” Ken said.

Sippy Downs based ITALIC Creative’s Luke Humble specialises in websites, branding and marketing. He sees the future in business growth focusing on the medical and technology sectors.

“The new CBD will put the Sunshine Coast on the map and the expanded airport will open up the region to an incredible wealth of opportunities. The hospital will attract the level of professionals the region needs and set a new standard for the rest of the state to follow in healthcare, Luke said.

“We’ll be here to take advantage of any and all opportunities”.

Kym Foster, Director of Maroochydore’s Share Shop relies on a different kind of economy with skills, products or services traded online using shop ‘currency’ instead of traditional money. She predicts an increased demand for her kind of industry and thinks “controlled and sustainable growth of the economy can only be beneficial to residents and businesses.”

With businesses like these, along with the other SCBA Finalists, the Sunshine Coast’s future looks very bright indeed.