Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Flinders Shire’s pandemic-beating boom

Hughenden and the Flinders Shire is enjoying a ‘business boom’ after witnessing a record number of new businesses opening in the region, according to new data from the Australian Business Register (ABR).

The Flinders Shire postcode of 4821 saw 41 new businesses register in 2020, and 50 in 2021, a 47% increase from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.

This also compares to just 24 new businesses registered five years before in 2014, less than half of the 2021 figures.

As of 1 September 2022, 732 businesses are now active in the Flinders Shire.

The news comes just weeks after Flinders Shire Council revealed a significant increase in tourist numbers into the region, with an extra 6,500 people visiting in 2021-2022 compared to pre-COVID data.

Flinders Shire Council Mayor, Jane McNamara said the increase in new businesses was yet more positive news for the ever-growing region.

“I’m thrilled to see that more new businesses than ever are opening up in the Flinders Shire, and even more impressive is that these record numbers came despite the COVID pandemic,” Mayor McNamara said.

“Some of the new businesses which have recently opened include three new Airbnbs, a coffee van, a number of trade and mechanical services, and two new boutique shops on Brodie Street.

“We’ve noticed new investments and businesses are interested in the areas of tourism, hospitality and the service industry,” she said.

“It feels like we’re in the middle of a business boom in the Shire, and it’s a great job by so many people to have Hughenden and our surrounds thriving once again.

“A strong economy is a strong indicator of a region which is moving in the right direction, and the number of new businesses opening up suggests we’re getting it right.

“It’s been a great team effort by the Council and the community so far, but we’ve still got big plans for the future we want to achieve.”

Recent completed projects have included the $12 million Hughenden Recreational Lake; wind farm projects; the Hughenden Horticulture Expansion Projects; expansion of the Flinders Discovery Centre, and Brodie Street upgrades.

“There are many business opportunities across tourism, horticulture and construction throughout our Shire,” said Mayor McNamara.

Council recently opened Expressions of Interest for a tenant to lease the café within the new Flinders Discovery Centre Museum in Hughenden.

“Our message is that we’re very much open for business and welcome any investor – big or small – to our region with open arms,” the Mayor said.

“We’re future-focused with our eyes planted firmly on the horizon.”

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