Business New England was launched today with the announcement of the new name for the former Armidale Business Chamber.
The announcement came at a lunch hosted by Business New England where Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall outlined his vision for the future of small business in the region.
We asked a few of the attendees at the Future of the Armidale Region Small Business event what they thought of the rebranding!
President of Business New England, Anthony Fox, said the new name and supporting vision better reflects the aspirational goals of the business community across the Armidale Local Government Area (LGA).
“It’s clear the future of an organisation like Business New England lies in advocacy, providing information to members and the wider business community, networking opportunities, as well as educational and professional development opportunities” he said.
He said, the Board of Business New England also recognised that the impact of changes such as rapid digitisation has been a challenge to many businesses, while COVID-19 has had a severe impact upon business survival, as well as leading to changes such as employees working from home. The Chamber needs to step up and meet the various changes on behalf of business as well as providing the usual services to members, while also recognising its need for funding and resources to deliver on this vision.
“Business in the region is evolving and we recognise that we need to evolve with it. As a business advocacy group, we need to focus on supporting all businesses, big and small, local tradespeople, micro-business, retailers, professionals, social entrepreneurs and start-ups.”
Business New England will take a collaborative approach as it moves to 2021 with programs such as the soon to be announced local gift card (a partnership with Armidale Regional Council) and the continuation of providing access to online training through the Northern Region Business Enterprise Centre (BEC). A Business Hub is also on the drawing board, partnering with UNE, to provide a focal point for advice and networking for all business, as well as facilitating start-up’s through UNE’S Smart Region Incubator, to drive the regional economy forward.
Mr Fox said he was proud to be able to report that the region is well placed to forge ahead with economic growth as outlined by Terry Rawnsley, Principal & Partner of SGS Economics & Planning in a recent online webinar, hosted by the Chamber.
“The data tabled by Mr Rawnsley showed the local economy was perhaps in a better position than expected given the impact of Covid and that we were in a good position to be able to return to a period of economic growth. He cited the potential of the Airport Business Park as one such example.”
Speaking at The Future of the Armidale Region event, the Hon Adam Marshall MP outlined a potential vision for the future of the economy and what the local LGA might look like in 2030 if the community taps into its competitive advantage.
He saw water security as a key driver with a vision of Malpas Dam capacity increased to support both Armidale and Uralla communities. He posited the mall as the thriving heart of the community and the Airport Business Park at capacity and 300+ people. His vision included the New England Renewable Energy Zone producing 10Kw of energy, the city hosting a major data centre, and a second runway at the Armidale airport with direct flights to the major capital cities and other regional centres.
“We have a wonderful climate, excellent water supply, amazing transport providing access to the rest of Australia (and the world) and NBN fibre to the premises. We have a burgeoning clean and green energy sector underway and our region is one of the few regions which understands the benefits that will grow from the renewables sector.”
“It is time for the Armidale region to take the leadership mantle in economic development. It’s a vision that I think everyone can identify with, and my challenge to the business community is to bring about that vision – we have all the ingredients to reach our potential.”
Armidale Business Chamber
210 - 212 Beardy Street, Armidale, NSW 2350
02 6771 1177