Stronger representation for small business in the North

Thursday 15 May, 2014 | By: Default Admin | Tags: CCIQ, Regional Manager

Businesses in North and Far North Queensland can looker forward to stronger representation with the appointment of Amy Turnbull, CCIQ’s new Regional Manager for the area.

Ms Turnbull has strong ties to the region and small business. She has lived in Cairns for most of the past decade and her family and her husband’s family have been involved in small business enterprises for many years.

She brings a wealth of work and personal experience to her new role, representing CCIQ in the vast region and supporting and speaking up for small-to-medium business.

“I am very passionate about small business. I am truly excited to have the opportunity to help SMEs grow and achieve their potential,” Ms Turnbull said.

She previously worked for The Cairns Post and realestate.com.au specialising in marketing, sales and advertising, covering much of Far North Queensland.

Ms Turnbull said while in those roles, she always had an interest in the fortunes of small business owners and jumped at the opportunity to work for CCIQ in the top end of the state.

Her patch covers from Burdekin west to Mount Isa, then right up to the tip of Australia. Much of the focus will be on the major cities of Cairns and Townsville.

“I am pleased to be part of an organisation that is the voice of small business, particularly in a region I am so proud to be a part of,” she said.

Ms Turnbull looked forward to assisting members maximise their memberships and increase awareness of all CCIQ’s benefits.

She said the region had gone through some desperate times with natural disasters and the big hit on tourism. But she was certain small business would lead the drive back to good times.

“About 96 per cent of all businesses in Queensland are small businesses, so a big part of the responsibility to grow the economy in the north will rest on the shoulders of small business owners,” she said.

The latest Westpac Group CCIQ Pulse Survey for the March Quarter released last week revealed that business confidence has taken an unexpected downturn in North and Far North Queensland on the back of bad weather and tough financial talk out of Canberra and Brisbane.

The Pulse Survey found that the region had experienced a substantial decline in general business conditions, sales and revenue, and profitability.

The dip is attributed to weather conditions, rising business costs and decreased consumer confidence and spending.

“We are waiting for the (Federal and State) budget announcements before making spending decisions,” said one concerned survey respondent from North Queensland.

Ms Turnbull said there were some unique issues and challenges in the north of the state, but there was certainly a sense of optimism.

The proposed $4 billion Aquis Great Barrier Resort development would be a huge boost to the area and was expected to create hundreds, if not thousands of jobs.

“Most business categories are doing it tough … this project gives everyone a lot of hope though,” she said.

“There are some really positive developments starting to take shape in the north.”

Mr Turnbull said one of her objectives in the new role was to help small to medium enterprises plan business campaigns and achieve their goals.

She also wanted to be a strong voice for small business in the north and develop good relationships with local chambers.

Ms Turnbull, a keen interstate and international traveller, said Cairns was Australia’s stepping stone to China, Japan and many other destinations and indicators suggested that tourism in the north was entering a new period of growth.

CCIQ members in Far North Queensland and North Queensland are encouraged to contact Amy Turnbull on 0427 899 241 or aturnbull@cciq.com.au.

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