Local businesses connect

James Rutherford and Cr Michael Enright
James Rutherford and Cr Michael Enright

The success of local businesses on the world stage is inspiring fellow local operators.

Small business owners from Beaudesert and beyond heard from Scenic Rim exporters at the 2023 Scenic Rim Regional Council Small Business Breakfast on 16 May.

Finger lime exporters Ian and Margie Douglas of The Lime Caviar Company and Cassandra Pons of Lazy Girl Lingerie were among locals mentioned from Beaudesert and surrounds.

Principal Trade and Investment Officer Julie Mark of Trade and Investment Queensland led a panel of Scenic Rim exporters she has worked with.

Gordon Chalmers of Tamborine Mountain Distillery, Katharina Von Heusinger of The Golden Bone Bakery and Callum Macarthur of Plasvacc were on the panel.

They shared about the challenges and rewards of exporting their goods and answered questions from fellow local businesses about their journey into exports.

Key challenges include red tape, bureaucracy and an exponential increase in freight costs.

Rewards shared on the panel seemed to outweigh the challenges, however.

Ms Von Heusinger shared her fascinating story of growth, starting with making pet treats in the family kitchen to larger scale production and partnering with workRestart to help people in prisons gain skills to use after serving their time.

She said she believed a business was never too small to export and it was worth the hard work to diversify revenue streams.

Mr Chalmers spoke about the importance of investing in entering and winning awards for success on the world stage and encouraged businesses to tap into government support like grants and incentives.

Mr Macarthur, whose family’s business Plasvacc won ‘Best Small Business’ at 2022 Premier of Queensland Export Awards, spoke about the importance of patience.

Plasvacc, a Kalbar company founded in 1996 which manufactures and distributes hyperimmunised blood plasma products to supplement immune response in animals, now has production in three countries and exports to 15.

Breakfast attendees dined on a menu filled with Scenic Rim produce, served by McAuley College students, as they heard from Michael Campbell of Lucid Economics about the Scenic Rim regional economy and its competitive advantages for export.

Mr Campbell spruiked advantages including the Scenic Rim’s strategic location, strong brand, transport linkages and relative affordability.

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About Susie Cunningham 0 Articles
Journalist telling the stories of where I live. I love living and working in Beaudesert and when I'm not working you'll see me walking the dogs with my husband Zac.