Australia’s most famed beach city is synonymous with thrilling surf, tropical hinterland and pristine waterways. While the Gold Coast is an enviable holiday destination, the sun-drenched city is set to add ‘business hub’ to its repertoire.
There’s no denying the past 18 months have been tough for businesses but as the world slowly makes its way towards the end of the coronavirus tunnel, the City of Gold Coast (City) is setting itself up for future growth and investment.
Redefining its Investment Attraction Program, the City will give eligible businesses access to up to A$3 million based on expenditure. In addition, up to A$10,000 will be available for every job created (depending on industry and level of investment).
Aiming to accelerate economic growth and diversification, the newly revised program will support eligible international and interstate businesses to relocate to the country’s largest regional city.
“Businesses looking to relocate to the Gold Coast have the opportunity to grow with an evolving global city, while taking advantage of funding to expand operations and acquire additional staff,” Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate tells The CEO Magazine. “This Investment Attraction Program is one of the first of its kind in Australia and will continue to be a welcomed boost to the Gold Coast economy.”
The new investment program is an improved version of the original program, which has supported 40 new businesses, 40 films and 300 sporting events, generating more than A$1.8 billion for the local economy, since 2009.
From introducing scaled incentives for both capital investment and operational expenditure to encourage continued investment and promote supply chain development to offering incentives for high-value job creation to attract skilled workers, the improvements will enhance investment across the region.
“The key improvements will include the introduction of priority industry sectors to ensure companies that generate the most economic impact and are creating the highest value jobs are awarded the highest level of incentive,” Mayor Tate says. “Financial incentives have already proven to accelerate infrastructure upgrades for Gold Coast companies to sustain their growth trajectory.”
As traditional work environments have been disrupted by the pandemic, the sandy shores and easy lifestyle that the Gold Coast offers combined with the attractive investment program will make the region even more desirable.
“The global economic challenge of COVID has encouraged employers to adopt more flexible workspaces including remote offices and work-from-home protocols,” the Mayor explains. “Given our reputation as an exceptional lifestyle city, we are in pole position to appeal to this new work dynamic.”
Manufacturing, warehousing, distribution and logistics have previously been identified and secured significant industrial business with the assistance of the Investment Attraction Program, further complementing South East Queensland. As the city’s economy continues to evolve, sectors that represent high-value jobs including health, knowledge, technology, professional services, advanced manufacturing and industry 4.0 will be given additional priority status.
Businesses and entrepreneurs looking to relocate to the Gold Coast and take advantage of the Investment Attraction Program may be eligible to apply if they fall within capital investment, specified operation expenditure (specifically leasing costs, research and development and local supply chain expenditure), job creation or executive/skilled worker relocation.
Potential candidates will be assessed on the nature and value of their project, direct and indirect economic and employment impact, the city image and potential landmark status, long-term growth opportunities and if they have documented competitive bids from other regions for the company to relocate from the Gold Coast.