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Putting the work into networking: top 3 tips for success

Did you know 86 per cent of all small businesses get their business through networking? Research has shown small and medium enterprises (SME) in regional Australia are “a major source of prosperity and employment” critical to the resilience of the communities they operate in.  Underpinning the sustainability and profitability of regional SMEs is innovation and…

Regional superheroes wanted!

Attention business owners – if you’re using the internet to make your business grow, Google and the Regional Australia Institute want to know! From free range egg farmers using web streaming to assure customers that chickens are happy and healthy, to online-only fashion retailers forgoing traditional bricks and mortar shopfronts to peddle their wares; the…

And the award goes to…

Business and customer service excellence has been in the spotlight lately as Cessnock celebrates its industry and community achievers. The 2015 Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards and Cessnock Customer Service Awards recognised our LGA’s talented, committed and entrepreneurial high achievers. But as the saying goes, you have to be in it to win it.  Often,…

New ministry recognises importance of tourism industry

The ministry shake up following Malcom Turnbull’s leadership victory has brought welcome news in the shape of a dedicated tourism portfolio. In a move applauded by stakeholders, Senator Richard Colbeck was appointed federal Minister for Tourism and International Education in the Prime Minister’s new-look cabinet. In a statement made prior to the announcement, the Australian…

Double tap, thumbs up, pin it, share it or spare it: storytelling in 2015

Gary Vaynerchuck is an American marketing, sales, social media and wine industry innovator. He took a family wine business and turned it into a $60M venture. Gary is a successful public speaker and internet personality who runs a social media-focused digital agency and has been described as “the first wine guru of the YouTube era”.…

Business slack on social savvy

The average Australian owns three internet enabled devices; however, studies show Australian small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are not making the most of this connectivity. This year’s Sensis Social Media Report found 68 per cent of consumers surveyed used social networks.  Although this was a one per cent drop compared with last year’s figures, it…

Australia's new PM: some things change, some stay the same

Australia’s 29th Prime Minister was sworn in last week amid a flurry of speculation about if and how a Malcolm Turnbull-led Liberal government will differ from Tony Abbott’s. While status quo on marriage equality and climate policy remained, the renegotiated coalition agreement shook things up on some fronts. One of the central elements of the…

What does your handshake say about you?

Have you ever encountered a ‘sweaty palmer’?  No, we’re not talking about a fossil-loving mining magnate – we’re talking about a bad handshake. It’s long been touted a handshake has the ability to make or break a deal. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience has cemented that notion, finding “a handshake…

Australian agricultural future ripe for the picking

New research has identified five megatrends tipped to drive Australian agricultural growth over the next 20 years, a boon for Cessnock’s Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector. The Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation (RIRDC) and CSIRO joint report, Rural Industry Futures, looked at ‘big-picture’ research to identify key opportunities and challenges for Australian farmers: A…

Strong international tourism growth good news for the economy

International visitor numbers and spending have reached record highs not seen since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Tourism Research Australia’s latest International Visitor Survey showed international visitor numbers increased 7 per cent to 6.6 million for the year ending June 2015. Spending grew by 10% to $33.4 billion – $3.2 billion more than the previous…

In search of the Goldilocks zone

The battle over climate has many fronts, from melting icecaps to the aesthetic properties of windmills. But there’s another battle waged daily in workplaces that we’re all familiar with: the quest for thermostat control. Arguments over temperature are a given in pretty much every workplace. It’s almost guaranteed that at least one person in an…

150,000 Jobs for NSW

Regional NSW is set for an employment boost following Premier Mike Baird’s announcement of a four-year Jobs for NSW initiative to create 150,000 new jobs. At least 30 per cent of the $190 million fund set aside for the program will be channelled to regional and rural areas. This adds a slice to the regional…