One of the Gold Coast’s most prolific small business advocates believes she has the solution to repair the economy in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
Paula Brand, founder and chief executive officer of Small Business Expos, says the way forward is for businesses and the unemployed to reconnect and network.
Ms Brand has spent the past six years connecting 20,0000 businesses to generate $20 million by running expos in partnership with 60 sponsors.
“Once COVID hit in March my industry was decimated and I was upset and angry and under a lot of stress, as were hundreds of small businesses across the Gold Coast,” said Ms Brand.
To that end, Ms Brand is hosting the Recovery Gold Coast Business and Jobs Expo on October 15 at the Carrara Indoor Sports Complex.
Ms Brand is urging the Gold Coast business community to unite and fight the economic crisis together by supporting the COVID-safe event which will feature 175 stands, workshops to help get people off JobKeeper and JobSeeker, and information and training sessions similar to ones offered by council.
“There is a huge demographic on the Gold Coast that is unemployed seeking work. Particularly at risk are micro operations, women over 45, and also the 20-30 age group,” said Ms Brand
“It is time for all of us to reconnect on the Gold Coast, particularly the invisible ones who don’t have a shopfront and rely on networking and face-to-face sales to do trading.
“Business industry groups are working together to put on the expos and our campaign is about connecting with confidence.
“The bottom line is if you need more customers or are looking for employment support and different options for your next career step, this is the place to be.”
The Recovery Gold Coast Business and Jobs Expo is one of four Ms Brand is hosting across southeast Queensland.
“We have never stopped believing in delivering the four upcoming Business and Jobs Expos this year on the Gold Coast, Moreton Bay, Brisbane and Redlands and Logan,” said Ms Brand.
“It was through sheer grit that this expo is going to run as 95% of expos across Australia have been cancelled.
“We have also just launched GC Connected Market every Tuesday in Broadbeach Waters which is a way to connect and network for the sector.
“Businesses are sick of being virtual, particularly the invisible businesses such as home-based, mobile, online, micro which makes up 25 per cent of our small business community.”
The Recovery Gold Coast Business and Jobs Expo will be held at the Carrara Indoor Sports Centre, on Thursday 15 October between 10am and 4pm.
Due to COVID-19, attendees must be registered prior to arrival. There will be no entry tickets available at the events, with the entrance fee being a gold coin donation upon entry: https://goldcoastbusinessandjobsexpo.eventbrite.com.au.
Potential exhibitors are being urged to act quickly with only a handful of part-funded expo stands still available. More information can be found at: www.smallbusinessexpos.com.au.