Published on Feb 8, 2016

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Ask a business in our local government area (LGA) where they source their products and you are very likely to hear “Not in Cessnock.”

This is according to the Business Capability Study for Cessnock local government area 2014/15 wherein half of the 2,287 businesses surveyed said they sourced a quarter or less of their products locally.

Some LGA sub-regions demonstrated stronger local supply chains than others.  In Mount View-Millfield, 53 per cent of businesses said they sourced between 75 to 100 per cent of their products within the LGA.  In Pokolbin it was 38 per cent.

At the other end of the scale 62 per cent of businesses in Branxton-Greta said they sourced only 0 to 25 per cent of their products locally, meaning they regularly looked outside the LGA to establish their supply chains.

The most common outside-LGA locations for purchases were Sydney (30 per cent), Newcastle (29 per cent), and Maitland (14 per cent).  Only one percent of purchases were identified as being directly imported from overseas.

Business-to-business (B2B) relationships are just as important as business-to-consumer (B2C) relationships when it comes the health and sustainability of a local economy.

Local governments and business chambers often promote ‘Buy Local’ campaigns as a way to educate the B2C market about the importance of spending their dollars in the towns and cities they live in.

Council’s Economic Development Manager Jane Holdsworth said recently released research highlighted the impact the B2C market can have by showing that spending an extra $100 in the LGA over Christmas could add millions of dollars and 57 jobs to the local economy.

But, what about the B2B market?

Ms Holdsworth said the current focus of the Economic Development Unit was to identify and advocate for greater B2B spending in the LGA.

“The Business Capability Study taught us a lot about the strengths of our local economy and highlighted some opportunities we might not be taking full advantage of,” Ms Holdsworth said.

“Our gap analysis that we’re currently undertaking will show us where we need to focus our business and investment attraction efforts so we can make sure we are supporting our established local businesses by strengthening local supply chains and keep our hard-earned dollars circulating in the local economy.

“Most importantly, this will drive employment opportunities within our LGA now and in the years to come.”

Businesses can complete the survey online, or by filling in this form and returning via fax to (02) 4991 4535 or email economic.development@cessnock.nsw.gov.au.

For more information about the gap analysis or economic development, please contact Jane Holdsworth on (02) 4993 4257 or Rhiannon Stevens on (02) 4993 4185.

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Topic: Advance Cessnock City, business investment, gap analysis, supply chains