Congratulations to our 2019 Scenic Rim Business Excellence Awards winners, finalists and nominees.
I am deeply inspired by the stories behind so many of these businesses which go above and beyond to deliver the highest levels of customer service while adding value to our regional economy, contributing to its strong trajectory of growth, and providing local employment opportunities for members of our communities.
Some of our entrants have seen a dramatic increase in turnover. Others have had spectacular growth in social media reach and engagement thanks to a concerted push into this area of marketing.
Some have invested in infrastructure and equipment to grow their business, while others have continued a laser-sharp focus on customer service and kept up a decades-long practice of ensuring they spend locally.
Recent research has shown the region’s economic growth and employment in the 2017-18 year surpassed Queensland’s averages, when Gross Regional Product achieved the highest dollar value in the life of the Scenic Rim.
Investment by businesses, which have recognised the opportunities presented by the Scenic Rim, has generated strong revenue and jobs growth across all sectors.
Some of our tourism businesses are seeing double digit growth in bookings, while some of our hospitality vendors are doubling their staff numbers, then doubling them again and again.
Ongoing investment in tourism and hospitality by the business community has helped to boost the Scenic Rim’s economy and this has been supported by Council’s continuing investment in infrastructure – the region’s roads and bridges – as a key foundation for continued economic confidence.
Council’s Bridge Renewal Program and Federal Government funding for bridge restoration projects will see a reduction from 77 unacceptably load-limited bridges to just four by the end of this year.
This will strengthen the economic capacity of the region through improved connectivity, providing benefits for the tourism and agriculture sectors.
Of course, many in our agricultural industries have faced challenges with extreme weather events over the past year. One story in an awards submission which clearly illustrates the difference which outstanding customer service can make was of the commitment by an employee to repair a harvester before bad weather set in.
That employee worked on the harvester for hours before retiring to a swag in the paddock for just four hours’ rest, to ensure he was able to get straight up and on the job, so no produce was lost in an impending severe weather event.
That’s indicative of our Scenic Rim business community – of its grit and determination, commitment to excellence and dedication to the service of customers and the region to go above and beyond.
As well as celebrating excellence in business, the awards nomination process had been recognised by many businesses as a valuable exercise in continuous improvement.
The feedback that I have had from the business community is that many have regarded the nomination process as an opportunity for self-reflection, identifying areas for improvement which has been a business development strategy in its own right.
The businesses and individuals who took home awards should inspire others to strive for similarly high standards of excellence which are building the reputation of the Scenic Rim as a great place to do business.