Small business expo showcases ’hidden’ products and services.
Mirboo North and District Community Bank held their local Business Expo recently, which gives businesses and tradesmen a chance to come together and promote their products and services to people in the district.
Mirboo North is expanding with many new arrivals taking up residency every year. The expo was established because often it takes a long time for ‘newbies’ to find out what business people in the area can offer them.
It’s also an opportunity to remind well-established residents about which products and services they can access in the town’s local economy. All small businesses were encouraged to participate in the expo, there were allocated a space or table where they could display, sell or just talk about their services or products.
“There are many more businesses working from home in the area that don’t have a retail premises. In my road alone there are many industrial businesses, as well as home based one person businesses like myself.” said Caroline Cox from Clarity Skin Therapy, who attended the expo.
The Expo highlighted some of the challenges that businesses in the area face, such as reduced visibility and reluctance to use local business, a lack of local business training and networking opportunities as well as interruptions to mobile coverage and internet services (NBN).
Some businesses said employing the right people and training staff were challenges that they faced by working in the area.
Also, there were many benefits sited about living and working in a small rural town such as Mirboo North.
“There are many benefits for working and networking in rural areas, word of mouth advertising works well,” continued Caroline, who says that all of her clients live within a 35km radius of her.
“I am now in the process of securing a retail space in the town, but this has taken two years to consider. I have inspected many buildings during this time, but size and having access to toilet facilities have been huge factors. I would also like space to grow and expand to take on more clients or offer space to other allied health professionals.”
Caroline also says living in a rural town means she can reach out to people to ask for help and they can guide her to finding the right person in the locality.
“I needed help navigating what was required for a commercial lease and I put the word out locally, where there was already somebody living close by who could help me, which was amazing!”
There is now a new business networking group being set up in Mirboo North and there are opportunities to list your local businesses. https://gippsland.businessconnect.io/