Getting to know the Economic Development Team
As a Council we’re working to improve our community’s economic wellbeing and quality of life. In real terms, this means supporting local businesses to grow and create more jobs, attracting more investment to Brimbank, and promoting Brimbank as an attractive place for people to do business, visit, shop, live and recreate.
Behind the scenes, working to make this happen, is Council’s Economic Development Team.
Our City has enormous potential for growth and is fast becoming a major employment hub for Melbourne’s west, with significant development capacity and investment opportunities.
Brimbank already makes a significant economic contribution to the regional and state economy, and already operates as an important economic hub, with the largest number of businesses, the greatest output and the most jobs of its neighbouring municipalities in the west.
We’ve taken up the challenge of how to position Brimbank best for future growth and development - in order to achieve our economic development vision of Brimbank as the economic hub of Melbourne’s west.
A key Council team working to facilitate Brimbank’s economic development journey is the Economic Development team.
The team’s work is guided by the Economic Development Strategy 2016-2020 and the five- year Economic Development Implementation Plan.
Supporting local business
Supporting local businesses to grow, helping attracting new investment to Brimbank, helping to link job seekers to local job opportunities and employees to local job seekers, and boosting Brimbank as a visitor destination are some of the main responsibilities of the Economic Development team.
The Economic Development Team delivers a popular annual business development program to help build and strengthen the capacity of local businesses, provide mentoring help, and facilitate networking with peers.
Annual Business Breakfasts and the Women in Business Lunch are popular events in the business calendar. Local businesses get an opportunity to network, and to hear from inspiring people such as businesswoman and philanthropist Susan Alberti, author and documentary maker Anger Pippos, and elite athlete and businesswoman Lydia Lassila.
The Economic Development team also communicates regularly with local businesses, through a quarterly Business Link magazine and regular E-Bulletins, which provide useful information.
Earlier in October 2018, an innovative new program of business meetups, masterclasses, workshops and networking opportunities was launched.
The new iHarvest program is ideal for start-ups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and businesses.
iHarvest Coworking Sunshine is Melbourne’s newest coworking space located in the heart of Melbourne’s west. It opened its doors in November, within the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre at 301 Hampshire Road, Sunshine.
Brimbank Council has contributed $100,000 to support operation of the space, and the Economic Development team is responsible for getting the coworking space and program up and running.
The new business space will provide a vibrant and affordable coworking location for startups, entrepreneurs, freelancers and business, and make an important contribution to business growth and job creation in the western region.
Attracting new business
The Economic Development Team also plays a role promoting Brimbank’s strategic location and attributes to attract developers and investors from within Victoria, Australia and internationally.
The team runs marketing and development initiatives that strengthen Brimbank’s brand and highlight its strengths and development potential. Promotional campaigns are run through state-significant bodies such as Destination Melbourne and Western Melbourne Tourism, which helps take the Brimbank message to a wider audience. The team also supported recent investment forums that have focused on Sunshine.
The Economic Development Team also responds to investor and developer enquiries, and is building a strong investment attraction program for Brimbank.
Linking jobseekers with jobs
To help promote local jobs, the team manages the Brimbank JobLink site. A one-stop-portal for both jobseekers and companies looking to recruit, the site links job seekers to local job opportunities, and employees to local job seekers, at no charge.
Since the site launched in 2016, Brimbank JobLink has attracted a growing number of users.
Making Brimbank more vibrant and attractive for business
The Economic Development Team also does its part to make Brimbank a more vibrant and attractive place for business – and a place where people want to do business, visit, shop, study, live and recreate.
The team delivers projects to encourage the community to support local business. Not only is shopping locally more convenient, but it’s a great way to help build economic benefit and boost community spirit.
The Economic Development Team recently ran a Think. Shop. Buy Local program at Glengala Village in Sunshine West, as part of the 20 Minute Neighbourhoods Pilot Program, funded by the Victorian Government and delivered by Brimbank City Council.
As part of the pilot program, the Economic Development Team worked to create a 20-minute walkable neighbourhood at Glengala Village in Sunshine West, where residents could access most of their daily needs including local services and facilities within a 20-minute walk, cycle or local public transport trip from home.
Boosting Brimbank a visitor destination
Another important focus for the Economic Development Team is making Brimbank a more popular visitor destination.
About 4 million people visit Melbourne’s West each year. This is a big opportunity for us to attract more people to visit Brimbank and enjoy its attractions. We will also tap into the large market of visiting friends and relatives.
Growing the visitor economy will drive growth and activity in Brimbank, generating more jobs, investment and growth for our community.
Guided by Council’s recently adopted Experience Brimbank Visitor Strategy 2018-2023, the Economic Development team is working to improve the municipality’s image and boost Brimbank’s unique offerings to the visitor market.
An important part of the team’s work in the tourism sector is working with business to develop new opportunities and to build capacity of existing experiences, and working with the community to raise awareness and inspire tourism champions. So watch this space!
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