Busi­ness start ups set a pace

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tom Zaun­mayr

En­ter­pris­ing Pil­bar­ians have set the ground­work for a small busi­ness boom, with more than 1750 busi­ness names reg­is­tered since 2014, while mobile and new busi­ness own­ers snap up bar­gain bricks-and-mor­tar premises.

Aus­tralian Busi­ness Reg­is­ter sta­tis­tics pro­vided by the City of Kar­ratha show 941 new busi­ness names were reg­is­tered in the Pil­bara in 2014-15 and 832 in 2015-16.

Of those, 765 were reg­is­tered in the City of Kar­ratha, 704 in the Town of Port Hed­land, 153 in Ash­bur­ton, and 151 in the East Pil­bara.

About one-third of busi­nesses on the ABR in the city were reg­is­tered with the Aus­tralian Tax­a­tion Of­fice.

Kar­ratha and Dis­tricts Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try vi­cepres­i­dent Robin Van­den­berg said Kar­ratha’s econ­omy still com­pared favourably to other re­gional cities in WA.

“The Kar­ratha econ­omy and busi­ness en­vi­ron­ment is not as bad as a lot of peo­ple are mak­ing it out to be,” he said.

“Af­ford­abil­ity of hous­ing, com­mer­cial space, labour costs, all those key in­di­ca­tors have come down, which is then en­abling peo­ple to go out with some sort of con­fi­dence and set up a busi­ness.”

Ray White Kar­ratha com­mer­cial in­dus­trial sales and leas­ing man­ager Shane Smith said Ray White had ne­go­ti­ated and signed 20 new com­mer­cial prop­er­ties last month, well above the aver­age even dur­ing the boom.

“We’re get­ting ten­ants mov­ing around into bet­ter premises for less money, but the ma­jor­ity is new clients to town,” he said.

“We’re see­ing any­thing from small mechanics com­ing out of work­ing from a truck to com­pa­nies the size of Austin En­gi­neer­ing.

“They’ve looked in the area for three years for space and have now se­cured a premises in Seabrook

which is brand new, suits their cor­po­rate im­age and is half the price they would have paid two years ago.”

Mr Smith said there were fewer than 70 va­can­cies now, down from more than 100 at one stage.

For­mer mobile mechanics Clark Smith and Carl Dooney are two Kar­ratha res­i­dents who have made use of the chang­ing eco­nomic cli­mate.

They pur­chased a block in the Light In­dus­trial Area to start NW Me­chan­i­cal So­lu­tions for a frac­tion of what it would have cost at the height of the boom. Mr Dooney said the move was still a risk, but one which had paid off.

“Pro­duc­tiv­ity is through the roof com­pared to mobile,” he said.

“If you are think­ing about it and you think you can make it work, you have the right at­ti­tude al­ready.

“We might do a cou­ple more hours here and there to make it work, but it is fea­si­ble these days.”

Mr Dooney said if new busi­nesses could make it work while things were quiet, they would be laugh­ing when the econ­omy picked up again.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.