Written by: Sarah Scammell
EDA-SA Committee Member; Director Strategic Collaboration at Business SA
Business SA Regional South Australian Collaboration Project – Hearing the Regional Voice
South Australia’s regions are an integral part of the State’s economy and make a substantial contribution across a diverse range of sectors, from agriculture and horticulture to mining, tourism and professional services.
The regions currently contribute around $25 billion to the State’s economy and hold much potential for future growth. However, as the South Australian economy continues its transformation, new thinking that delivers innovative solutions will be required for the State’s future prosperity, including in the regions.
As South Australia’s largest membership based business and employer organisation, Business SA is focussing on areas where it can most benefit members and contribute to the short term economic and long term transformation required to deliver a robust business community that will generate the jobs for the future.
The Regional Voice Collaboration Project is made up of 3 strategic engagements:
- Partnership with ten Regional Chambers of Commerce across South Australia that act as a conduit to Business SA. Regional Chambers of Commerce have become advocates of Business SA in their regions and disseminate information and calls to action on the ground. Business SA provides unique membership discounts to Regional Chamber Members and provides support to Regional Chambers through a yearly conference held in Adelaide. This conference focuses on professional development, leadership, information and knowledge sharing and strategic planning.
- The Regional Voice Survey development, collation and communication of findings that create a two-way dialog with targeted regional communities.
- Regional Voice events held in 12 regional locations over a financial year in collaboration with supporting partners EML and The Small Business Commissioner and the Office of the Industry Advocate. These events are free of charge to regional business owners and managers.
In August 2016 Business SA launched the Regional Voice event series and Regional Voice survey in Wallaroo. The Regional Voice survey has been promoted through a series of Regional Voice events that have been held in key regional locations.
Through the Business SA Regional Voice survey, Business SA has gained valuable insights into the issues affecting business development in regional South Australia that inform our advocacy on behalf of business and eliminate barriers to growth. There is no doubt that South Australia is facing a significant economic and social challenges. The Regional Voice survey is the first step in better understanding these challenges and opportunities and working towards real change through our policy advocacy.
Business SA is committed to working closely with Regional Chambers of Commerce through Regional Voice to encourage business and economic development to support future jobs growth and opportunities for regional communities. This partnership with regional Chambers of Commerce is a key strategic element of the Regional Voice Collaboration Project and is underpinned by a comprehensive survey that highlights the innovation and economic uplift that is being created by our regional communities as well as the challenges that are impacting individual regions.
Regional Chambers of Commerce include:
- Whyalla Chamber of Commerce and Industry
- Port Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and Tourism
- Loxton Chamber of Commerce
- Business Port Augusta
- Riverland West Chamber of Commerce
- Port Pirie Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Mount Gambier Chamber of Commerce
- Kadina Chamber of Commerce
- Business Kangaroo Island
- Victor Harbor and District Business Association
Regional Chamber of Commerce Representatives with Business SA Chairman – Vincent Tremaine and Business SA CEO – Nigel McBride (May 2016)
For more information Regional Voice events and for a copy of the Regional Voice Survey visit – www.business-sa.com/regional-voice