Over the past several months, Business Victor Harbor has extensively researched economic development in our local economy, with the aim of transitioning to a vibrant, sustainable and diverse economy.
A ‘thriving economy’ ethos is woven into our community’s tapestry– to increase the wealth and wellbeing of our community. This results in local jobs, with local businesses supporting community groups, sporting clubs and charities.
On average, 45 cents of every dollar spent at a small business flows back into the local community as salaries to local residents, payments to local suppliers, charities, schools and sponsorships.Source – Shop Small Report, PFi, 2018.
As with challenges the business community have risen to in the past – we believe the business community is well positioned to tackle and positively influence sustainability challenges within our community.
There is little doubt that over the the years, the City of Victor Harbor and elected members have supported the ‘local economy’.
One aspect of the research undertaken by Business Victor Harbor entailed the examination of council’s past/current economic development and tourism strategies to understand and identify opportunities for improvement.
As a result of this research, Business Victor Harbor has identified some of the long-term strategies already in place were no longer efficiently delivering the goal of a “a thriving economy”.
No need to reinvent the wheel
During the course of our research, as the ideas and thoughts were coming together, we engaged with a broad range of people seeking their input and comments on our concepts – as to whether they were relevant, and importantly, if they could be implemented in the Victor Harbor economy.
We took the time to research and learn from other regional communities as to how they also defined economic development – deep diving into organisational structures, budgets, strategic plans and outcomes.
The following roadmap is a working document based on the paper ‘Re-imagining Victor Harbor’s economy – transitioning to a vibrant, sustainable & diverse economy’.
This road map has a strong focus on delivering local opportunities, employment and community well-being and is based on best practices on what has successfully worked in other regional communities across Australia.
We have found that communities that have successfully transformed their economies are primarily driven by ‘business led initiatives’- with local and other government agencies partnering in various ways along the journey. Such communities have focused on export, innovation and sustainable sectors to create opportunity, employment and community well-being.
Another example is the speed of change, which has a direct impact on our economy – this can be both a threat and a wonderful opportunity.
If we take the example of technology. The internet ‘web domain’ only became available to the public just over 25 years ago and the 1st iPhone was released less than 13 years ago.
This technology has forever changed how people seek and receive information– influencing consumer expectations and behaviours.
It has created the imperative to be attuned ‘to a quantum shift’ with the ‘global economy’ – and how it impacts our local economy.
Such changes can create potential threats – the Victor Harbor community fails to recognise and respond appropriately to the new norm of ‘What we did yesterday, may not work tomorrow’
At the same time, it creates fantastic opportunities of how the Victor Harbor community can evolve and positively engage with the world.
By harnessing the power of technology, together with good business modelling and emerging marketing concepts – we can reposition Victor Harbor as a ‘global sustainable tourism destination’ all year round. This will attract investment in areas around sustainability, creativity and the competitive advantage of NBN fibre to the premises.
As outlined in our roadmap – Business Victor Harbor aims to engender organic enhancement within the community – through skills development, mentoring and other strategies to assist local business – including in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurial development.
We welcome your feedback and input into this roadmap and invite you contact us with any feedback. You can reach out to Executive Officer Mark Richards by email [email protected] or phone 0405321604