Chamber Chat: Evolution Creates New Vibe
Fiona Buchanan, Executive Officer, Maitland Business Chamber
Business sentiment is certainly improving. No more evidence is needed than the number of major projects underway locally. Levee Two is opening up the town centre to our great natural asset, the Hunter River. Stockland Green Hills is approaching a landmark re-opening of its double size centre. Maitland Private Hospital is in the process of another expansion. Anecdotally, we’re hearing of a shift the job market in favour of job seekers and an upturn in housing loans and real estate activity.
The Hunter Regional Plan, the Hunter Investment Prospectus and the Greater Newcastle Metropolitan Plan (incl. Maitland) show the potential of the region. With affordability in Sydney at crisis point, our region offers attractive lifestyle and business opportunities in an identified growth corridor through the Maitland region.
Technology also enables a shift in business activity away from metropolitan cities bringing great opportunity. Local international tech businesses, Smarts Sports and The Learning Bar are examples of capitalising on the capability to be connected from anywhere. However, it can’t be denied technology infrastucture locally faces challenges, the disappointing fibre to the node NBN does not meet the needs of 21st century business. How can an the aged, defunct and broken copper wires from the node to premises, with its associated delays and buck passing between old and new providers, be overcome?
Nevertheless, we have seen overwhelmingly positive change. From the drab, tired pedestrian mall of a few years ago, the Levee is transforming with the planners’ dream of a lifestyle precinct is being slowly realised for the benefit of community and business.
Maitland City Councils work on local festivals is delivering a contemporary, funky vibe bringing people both locals and visitors into our town. At the same time, these festivals showcase some local uniqueness. Last weekend, Taste connected us to local produce and a diverse and growing food culture. Plus 101 ways with pumpkin, pick one up from a local grower direct today or grab one at East Maitland Library. Who says a library with fresh local produce is quirky, pick up a cookbook while you’re there?
On Saturday after Taste, my family and I wandered over to the Jubilo Gelato store near the cinema, we definitely did not need more to eat!! With so many people out and about, it was great to see a line out the door to grab an after dinner treat.
In an event that combines tradition and modernity, we will welcome Ms Maitland Showgirl 2017 and Youth Ambassador to our breakfast meeting on 16 March to hear how this proud rural institution continues to bring empowerment to young women. Congratulations and well done to all the participants.
We invite you to join us this Thursday at Best Western Hunter Gateway with Ms Maitland Showgirl and our headline speaker Chris Travers, Centre Manager, Stockland Green Hills bringing us a walk through video of progress and a re-opening Update. We welcome everyone with an interest in Maitland Business and community. All the details are on our website: www.maitlandbusiness.com.au or drop us a line to find out more T: 0429 343 340.