Last week members of the Coffs Chamber of Commerce and other local business people had the privilege to meet the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Finance, Mr Michael McCormack MP. The position of Parliamentary Secretary supports the Minister for Finance, Hon Mathias Cormann. This was an important opportunity to ask questions about matters of finance, and also to showcase larger business success stories in the Coffs Coast region. Naturally, our finance members were interested and represented. Michael answered questions such as the Government’s position on supporting local economic growth through finance and even the role that private capital funding might play in a local and vibrant economy such as ours.
In regard to private funding, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission oversees fundraising, and usually some form of disclosure documentation when raising funds privately is required. In very limited circumstances, it is possible to raise funds without strict compliance in that regard, for example in the case of so called personal offers. The Coffs Harbour City Council’s Economic Development Unit recently invited an international expert in that field, M. Shuman to present his expertise and experience in assisting local communities to raise funds privately. These visions are elaborate, but Shuman spoke confidently about the role of feely available capital in the growth of local economies in the United States. Michael confirmed that his department is aware of the importance of raising funds effectively and the system remains under constant review to optimise it.
Michael also spoke about the highway upgrade and the hard work by our local member Luke Hartsuyker MP in that regard. Presently in Coffs Harbour, one doesn’t have to look too far to find a construction site or similar evidence of economic activity. Not only that, there are a number of exciting new opportunities for local iconic businesses, ranging from Dolphin Marine Magic’s airing of “Blue Zoo” on ABC 3 on Monday nights at 5:30 to the opening of a mini golf course as soon as October this year at the Big Banana. Those things are doing much to firmly establish the Coffs Coast as an important centre for tourism and business. The success of the recently held Rally speaks for itself.
Structurally, on the Coffs Coast we are well placed to grow from within, and with superb infrastructure such as the university, a vibrant and diverse retail sector, the roads that continue to improve and a health system that attracts only the very best in the health care profession, there is no doubt that we will continue to expand in that way. What some, even many may see as an increasing stress on Society, namely our growing aged population, others see as an opportunity. After all, in a column headed “A billion shades of Grey” The Economist reported in its April 26th 2014 edition that ageing populations worldwide has given rise to a new and unexpected phenomenon; older people in the work place. How wonderful to know that we might be facing a new era where business and society will have the benefit of the experience, wisdom and sage insight of people who are currently lost to retirement.
And as they say, opportunity brings further opportunity. What an exciting time to be in business on the Coffs Coast! All this at a time when it has never been cheaper to source money with interest rates at historical lows. So not only are there good signs, there is also competitive funding opportunities, whether through our excellent local financial institutions or privately.
In this time of interest in and growth of our Region, we here at Coffs Chamber of Commerce offer you access through a very cost effective membership into a vast array of expertise, resources and networking opportunities. If you have not already done so, please contact us for further information and about becoming a member or even a sponsor to join us in a positive journey.