Why now is the perfect time to do business in the country.
If you’ve been looking for the perfect time and place to launch your business idea, it’s time to take a closer look at Lockhart Shire.
The Shire consists of the township of Lockhart, and the smaller villages of The Rock, Yerong Creek, Pleasant Hills and Milbrulong. Nestled comfortably between Wagga Wagga and the twin border cities of Albury-Wodonga, Lockhart Shire has an established reputation as a flourishing agricultural centre. You’ll find everything from grain farming to wool and livestock operations – but what you may not have heard about is the other side of Lockhart Shire’s booming business economy.
Thanks to strategic efforts on the part of local Council, a diverse range of businesses has populated the economic landscape. And with the incentives and supports from Council, the time for starting, investing in, and taking business to the next level has never been better.
This suite of incentives is outlined in Lockhart Shire Council’s Investment Attraction Incentives Package. Its aim is to continue growing and building a vibrant and diverse regional economy – offering business perks, advice and support that normally set new entrepreneurs back hundreds or thousands of dollars in time and capital costs during the startup and expansion phases.
Here’s just some of what’s on offer:
– Want free marketing and networking? Available through Council’s Business Directory and connections, as well as free co-operative marketing campaigns.
– Sick of drawn out development applications? Lockhart Shire offers a guaranteed 10 day turnaround on low complexity applications, as well as dedicated assistance and guidance to help make sure your application is the best it can be.
– Looking for some financial kickbacks? Discounted development application fees, discounted sale price on multiple lot purchases…and many other possible financial incentives – all for the asking!
And the results speak for themselves. We took a look at three new businesses in the Lockhart Shire to see how their business journey has taken shape with the supports available through partnering with Council.
Michelle Bailey is a recent addition to The Rock, a Shire village of around 1000 people. The Bailey family have experienced the extreme of urban living, previously residing at Werribee near Melbourne – known as the most explosive growth corridor nationwide.
After six months at The Rock, the ‘busyness’ of life become a distant memory – all with the conveniences of Wagga Wagga 25 minutes away.
“I used to spend that long in the car and get nowhere!” says Michelle, who couldn’t be happier with the convenience of country living.
Michelle is an experienced online retailer, running Custom Icing for ten years. With an online business model, one of the most important things when considering the relocation was making sure that sufficient freight services were available in her new, smaller location. Working with smaller logistics companies, and partnering with her longtime freight provider has meant that the freight services available to Custom Icing are now better and more convenient than the city. Meanwhile, Custom Icing has continued on the same strong growth that it experienced in Melbourne.
The resources at her doorstep also mean that Michelle can upscale her business to meet demand as Custom Icing continues to expand.
“I encourage anyone and everyone that will listen to me to consider a country change as it has been the best decision for our family and also my business.”
Michelle has noticed a surprising undercurrent of like-minded business people as she has attended the Council’s networking events.
“The plans and enthusiasm Council has for the future, as well as bringing business to the Shire and supporting those already here looks promising. I look forward to participating in more of Lockhart’s business strategy in the future.”
Simone moved to the country for love!
And although love conquers all, it’s also turned out to be a great business opportunity! As a talented and enterprising Physiotherapist, Simone saw the need for provision of quality Physiotherapy treatment options within Lockhart, and is currently in the throes of preparing to book her first clients.
“Lockhart is a really booming and happening town! Both young and old can find something to do and a way to be a part of the community”
When the time came to start her business journey, Council was right there to offer support each step of the way. Simone attended a small business forum facilitated by Council, which gave her an insight into the opportunities in the town. Council has also connected her with resources via Safe Work NSW, to ensure that work health and safety is paramount in her business.
“Council was more than happy to meet me on location to discuss my upcoming project and offer any possible support”.
To those thinking of making a Country Change, Simone can’t recommend Lockhart Shire enough: “Enjoy the fresh country air and live somewhere where you know your next door neighbour! We have great schools and we’re close to larger towns which have everything you’ll need!”
Ian Marston began emu farming around two decades ago. At the time Ian and his family were tree changers from the Adelaide Hills, and were looking to try their hand at farming in the peaceful surrounds at the heart of the country after Ian’s 40 years of military service.
And so Marrocka Emu Farm was born – starting out simple and growing to expand connections in manufacturing and value adding, the farm now produces emu oil, feathers, cosmetics, health products, and meat. And with recent discoveries of the benefits of K2 and K4 vitamins found in emu oil, Ian has had to double the farm’s output in order to meet demand for product.
Now the time has come to increase operations into tourism, Ian has been thankful for the support from Council to help him expand into the next season for the emu farm business, saying of the Lockhart Shire staff, “They’ve been onto me more than I’ve been onto them!” In order to expand tourism operations, Council will be able to provide logistical support, access to co-operative marketing options, and networking opportunities to help Ian realise his business goals for the farm.
Ian and his family have been touched by the support of the local community. He says it’s a great place to live, to make friends and to make a life, “It just puts your mind at ease to know that someone cares and that they’re around to help when you need it.”
As well as the great incentives to business, our country changers all agree – you just can’t beat the Lockhart Shire lifestyle. Quiet, peaceful, friendly, welcoming… along with the wide open spaces, no traffic or parking issues, and no queing at the shops; it’s a healthier, happier family life.
To find out more about the new and exciting face of business in the Riverina, check out Lockhart Shire online, which has more details about doing business in the Shire, what’s coming up, and information on what it could be like to make the Lockhart Shire your new home.