Friday, January 13th, 2012 - Susie Douglas
Mayoral candidate Susie Douglas has outlined her vision to expand the Gold Coast’s small business economy through a mix of grassroots consultation and reduced bureaucracy.

Starting her campaign on Thursday last week, Cr Douglas will be announcing policies across ten areas leading up until the Local Government elections on March 31.

“We have hundreds of businesses across the Gold Coast that are already involved in the various Chambers of Commerce, and yet to date there has been a heavy reliance on Council led groups when it comes to addressing the concerns of business owners,” Cr Douglas says.

“I feel that it’s time we got back to basics and looked to our Chambers of Commerce for real advice from those that are out there at the coal face.”

Cr Douglas says rather than disbanding Council’s BusinessGC, she would advocate turning it into a 15-person committee that consists of a representative of each of the city’s nine Chambers, as well as six head of industry representatives from fields such as property, tourism, and education.

”I think it’s more important that we listen to and consult with existing business groups rather than hand picked panels when it comes to trying to help industry, especially small business, flourish on the Gold Coast,” Cr Douglas says.

“These are the people on the ground who are experiencing the problems faced with not only a sluggish economy, but the myriad of red tape through Council bureaucracy, and they are in the best position to advise on what can be done better.

“Chambers of Commerce have been representing small businesses in Australia for over 100 years so its time we got back to basics.”

It’s initiatives such as this that Cr Douglas says will help to shape fairer, more realistic policies that will help to grow sustainable businesses on the Gold Coast.

“Right now, vacancy rates across Gold Coast commercial properties are through the roof, which is neither good for our image as a city, nor is it good for our economy,” Cr Douglas says.

“There certainly isn’t a lack of business talent on the Gold Coast, but there is a lot of red tape and unnecessary fees and costs that needlessly stifle existing operations and prevent new ones from opening their doors.

“If we are serious about growing a sustainable economy, it’s time to make some big changes, and we should be doing everything within our power to entice business owners to our city and retain them.

“While larger businesses are important to the Gold Coast, our economy is built on the thousands of small businesses that employ a majority of our population, and we need to take some big steps in order to grow this sector into something that’s genuinely world class.

“We have some of the best living conditions on the Gold Coast of anywhere in the world—I think it’s time we grew our economy to reflect this.”

Contact Profile

Bruce Nelson

P: 0439 860 521
M: +61 (0) 423 403 449


Susie Douglas, Gold Coast Mayoral Candidate, Business, Economy, Chambers of Commerce



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