July 2021 Update from the CEO

Kaya as we welcome in the new Financial Year of 2021.

July has continued to present more challenges for many local businesses especially those in Hospitality, Tourism and Events. These industry sectors seem most impacted by the COVID-19 lockdowns such as the one we saw in late June. With the end of June and beginning of July also coinciding with the start of the school holidays, the June lockdown certainly had ripple effects through to the South West for a few weeks after. Towns along the South Coast have also recorded their wettest rainfall during June in 30 years, with July set for a similar record. The weather is certainly impacting activity and put a dampener on the two weeks of school holidays at the beginning of July.

Despite the weather, general business activity is still high, and I continue to receive reports that many operators are still struggling to keep up with demand amidst continued resource and labour constraints.

BGCCI’s advocacy agenda continues to urge businesses to find new ways to operate and set themselves up more efficiently and effectively. In a world that continues to see the impacts of COVID-19 change life at a moments notice, businesses need to build provision and infrastructure that will allow for flexibility and services that can be delivered online. If we were faced with a Delta outbreak similar to that occurring on the East Coast, how well set-up is your business to adjust at a moment’s notice to operating online, or from home with now face-to-face services? It’s smart business practice to be prepared.

It can be hard to find time to work on your business, especially when you’re so busy just keeping your head above water and the wheels turning. Strategic planning is integral. If BGCCI can support you in reviewing your business model, please reach out to the chamber, we’d love to hear from you and see how we can assist.

Accommodation supply across Bunbury Geographe is still in short supply. BGCCI is working with our local LGA’s and other key industry stakeholders to review options available that will assist in reducing the current shortage while limiting the longer-term impact on our development and housing market potential.

BGCCI strongly encourage developers to consider how they can take advantage of the opportunities within this region. Statistics indicate substantial latent capacity within larger housing stock of 4-5 bedroom properties accommodating only 1-2 occupants. There are also large residential blocks within 5-10 kilometres of Bunbury Central prime for development.  Residents could be sitting on a new source of income right in their back yard. 

With most builders stretched beyond capacity at the moment, infill development is not a short-term solution. From our perspective this presents an opportunity to explore alternative and innovative building materials and solutions that are supported around the world. Modular constructions, kit homes and tiny home constructions offer more flexibility in design and use of construction materials and the quality continues to surprise as people see just how well these alternatives exceed expectations.

It is going to take out of the box thinking and entrepreneurial activity to ensure we are building the housing and accommodation capacity the entire Bunbury Geographe region needs in the medium to longer term.

The Chamber is currently preparing for our upcoming Annual General Meeting on the 23 August 2021. Become an active member of a growing Chamber. Nominate to be on our Executive Committee – contact the Chamber for a nomination form. Nominations can only be accepted from current members with an ABN – Nominations close 9th August.

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