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Business Sector Updates (21/6/2016)

Southern Highlands Tourism, Start-Ups, Mentoring & Business Development

What does “Destination Tourism” mean for your business? What works best for innovative start-ups? What’s involved with providing community-based mentoring services for existing businesses? What will be the most profitable industries be in the future? Which industries should we be attracting to the Moss Vale Enterprise Zone?

Because Public Sector funding is assumed to be a very limited as a source of project funding, the Economic Development Framework presumes that Private Sector investors will fund projects, not Local, State or Federal Governments.

This implies that Businesses are primary partners in developing our Economic Development Framework and that most projects within the Framework will be Community-Private Partnerships.

It is assumed that our Community-Private Partnerships will involve local, regional, national, and international businesses, not for profit organisations, and importantly, retired business professionals.

Our current Destination Tourism structure resembles a Community-Private Partnership. Destination Tourism relies on a coordinated approach to the planning, development, management and marketing of the Southern Highlands i.e. working together. In the case of the Southern Highlands, our Destination Strategy involves proactive input from the community, council (including the team at the Visitor Information Centre), State and Federal governments, tourism organisations, and tourism operators. Collaboration is at the heart of everything. (For more information about the Southern Highlands Destination Plan, please click here.)

At first glance start-up businesses are about as far removed from the concept of Community-Private Partnerships as you can get. A common image of a start-up business is that of driven entrepreneur battling against all odds to make it rich. The truth is rather different. Entrepreneurs who collaborate with people that have complementary skills are FOUR TIMES more likely to still be in business after 5 years.

In a similar way, business mentors can make life a lot easier for existing businesses. Mentors help provide a fresh perspective, guidance and inspiration. Depending on their skills they can help to market and grow existing businesses. Simply put, a mentor can mean the difference between success and failure.

In our region we have many exceptional retired business people. How can we tap into their lifetime of experience in collaborative, win-win, ways?

Profitable industries will be very different in the near future. In a recent newsletter concerning Australia’s future workforce and the impact of digital and economic disruption on business, the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) stated:

“Australia is on the cusp of the next wave of the new industrial revolution. Like previous technologically driven transformation, this revolution has the potential to radically upend business practices, change economic arrangements and dramatically reshape the workforce.

The domestic impact on the average Australian worker will be profound, with modelling suggesting almost five million jobs face a high probability of being replaced in the next decade or two. Emerging technologies are threatening to reshape the economy in very different ways to those of the past and radically impacting the labour market.”

Simply put, a tsunami of change is heading our way. If our businesses keep on doing what they have been doing, then our local economy is in deep trouble. We have to embrace change, and we have to embrace change now.

In the future outlined by CEDA it will not be the biggest or the strongest businesses that survive – it will be those that can adapt quickly.

The best available evidence suggests that to adapt quickly, businesses to need to play to their strengths and collaborate with others who can bolster their weaknesses.

The Moss Vale Enterprise Zone (MVEZ) is a strategic opportunity for our region. The privately owned land in the Zone is zoned Industrial and has very good access to road and rail. There are similar parcels of land throughout Australia. A key question for the Economic Summit is “What sustainable advantages does the MVEZ have to attract potential local, regional, national, and international businesses?”

Business Sector Summary: July 2015

Where we want to be by 2031


  • Develop and implement a comprehensive Tourism Strategy for the Southern Highlands, based on the unique Southern Highlands brand of climate, horticulture, recreation, landscape and heritage (2031-EconDec-5.2.2)
  • Develop and implement a compelling and competitive brand identity for the Southern Highlands, based on our distinctive lifestyle factors of climate, horticulture, recreation, landscape and heritage (2031-EconDev-5.2.1)
  • RV Friendly Sites (EconDev Mins 11/14)

Startup Businesses

  • Sirolli Facilitation (NAF)

Existing Local Businesses

  • Mentoring Services (NAF)

Waste Minimisation

  • Wingecarribee achieves continuous reduction in waste generation and disposal to landfill (2031-Environ-4.3
  • Minimise waste through education, promotion of alternatives, financial incentives, prosecution of dumpers and Council’s own waste management program (2031-Environ-4.3.1
  • Promote Product Stewardship (PS) and Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) at a local level (2031-Environ-4.3.2
  • Continue to reduce, reuse, recycle and return to maker (2031-Environ-4.3.3
  • Promote alternatives to single use packaging and other disposables (2031-Environ-4.3.4

Local Business Directory

  • Develop a Local Online Business Directory (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Make contact personally with businesses in each of the towns and villages to invite them to be entered onto a database (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Prepare a media release and associated advertisements inviting businesses to register for the directory (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • The businesses will be listed by town and cross-referenced by trade and service (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Regularly contact the local chambers for any knowledge of new small business arrivals (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Promote the Directory through the Council website, real estate agencies and other major community organisations (2014-15 Small Bus. )

Buy Local Campaign

  • Develop a marketing strategy to encourage the community to buy/shop locally (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Encourage residents and businesses to source goods locally (2031-Environ-4.4.2)

Business Rents

  • Liaise with Local business chambers and landlords to negotiate cheap establishment rents and agreements (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Develop a Home based to Commercial space Business Strategy to help local businesses grow their profile within the community (2014-15 Small Bus.)
  • Develop a Home Industry/Business Register to monitor and assist local business grown and possibly move into more public locations in shop fronts or industrial locations (2014-15 Small Bus.)

Climate Change Industries

  • Create green jobs/careers for all economic segments (professionals and trades) by making the SH a leading centre of industry/innovation/expertise for the “greening” of residential built environment (existing/new) (2031-EconDev-5.4.1)
  • Optimise existing strengths in manufacturing and engineering clusters of enterprises, which cooperate to find new ways to attract similar industries to relocate to the Southern Highlands (2031-EconDev-5.5.4)
  • Monitor and publish performance of the reduction and offsetting of greenhouse gas emissions (2031-Environ-4.4.4)

Moss Vale Enterprise Zone

  • Promote Moss Vale Enterprise Zone (2015 Operational Plan)
  • Move full speed ahead with the development of Moss Vale Enterprise Zone (2031-EconDev-5.5.3)

Public Sector Promotion

  • Develop – implement a lobbying program to build a persuasive profile of the Southern Highlands as the destination Shire for all public sector agencies considering relocations greenfield operations (2031-EconDev-5.5.1
  • Open For Business Promotion
  • Analyse-Optimise Council Processes (DAs etc.) (WSC-Various)
  • Regional Prospectus (WSC-Various)
  • Concierge Service (WSC-Various)
  • Website (WSC-Various)
  • Newsletters (WSC-Various)
  • Social Media (WSC-Various)
  • PR (WSC-Various)