News & Media

Economic Development Office Newsletter - November 2017

Fri 01 Dec 2017

Productive Shoalhaven 

Productive Shoalhaven is the 10 year strategy for Council's Economic Development Office.This strategy outlines a 10 year vision for Council’s involvement in economic development. Building on the area’s competitive advantages across core economic drivers, the strategy proposes directions across a range of industry sectors and Council activities that also align with Council’s broader commitments to its resident and business communities through its Community Strategic Plan.  Read more here.

Proudly Shoalhaven - Feature Business

The Shoalhaven is a great place to do business as we all know. The Economic Development Office of the Shoalhaven City Council is currently developing a marketing business attraction campaign that aims to promote the benefits for businesses, investors and skilled workers of setting up, investing or moving to the Shoalhaven. This campaign has been made possible through funding from the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet and will showcase some of our of local businesses and their offerings. Please click here to read more about our local Shoalhaven businesses.Economic Development Office Newsletter - November 2017

There is nothing more important to architectural firm Edmiston Jones than being part of the Shoalhaven community.

Established 35 years ago, the company is proud of its community connections and is a staunch supporter of business in the thriving Shoalhaven region.

Fellow director Mark Jones established the business as a South Coast agency for a Sydney-based business and both he and Steve are shameless advocates for living and working in regional areas.

“I grew up in Albury and Mark in Cooma – we’re country boys at heart,” Steve said. Steve came to Nowra for practical experience during his architectural studies in 1986, met his future wife and his Shoalhaven connection was cemented.

“The benefit of working in a regional area is we are able to work on a variety of projects, from residential projects to commercial development,” he said.

“We are familiar with the way regional communities integrate, collaborate and do business and that’s the thrust of our business, to stay in regional areas.”

While the company does work around Australia, its main focus is on the South Coast, Wollongong and inland to Albury. In the early days Edmiston Jones worked with local councils on community centres and now works on projects as diverse as Muddy Puddles, a therapy and education centre in Batemans Bay for young people with a disability, and the $84 million Parq on Flinders development in Wollongong.

Steve said being embedded in the local community was intrinsic to the way the company worked.

“We want to be connected, we collaborate with the community and we are considered in the local community. There is no technological reason why we can’t operate a successful business here and we do that. It allows us to give back to the community whilst we operate a business.”

Steve said the Shoalhaven was strongly supportive of business, and cited the Shoalhaven Professional Business Association (spba) as a perfect example of that support.

The association was established nine years ago by professional business people to deal with issues that are more prevalent in regional areas, such as attracting professional staff.

Once people arrive in the region, the spba offers support and professional development, even extending to helping find work for partners of newcomers to the region.

For the past five years, spba has run a Young Mentors program, in which young professionals are matched with, and mentored by, experienced business people in like fields. Another program, now in its second year, is the Compass Executive Leadership program, where business owners, managers and leaders identify the training they require and are introduced to professionals in those areas.  Applications are currently open for the 2018 spba mentor program

“We are lucky enough to have some wonderful business leaders in the Shoalhaven,” Steve said.  “The region is a beautiful region to live in and that is why our business is located in the Shoalhaven."

Read all about our local businesses who are Proudly Shoalhaven here.

Edmison Jones

Grant Opportunities for Business


Building Better Regions Fund - There are two streams of funding available under the program:

  • Infrastructure Projects Stream -  supports projects which involve the construction of new infrastructure, or the upgrade or extension of existing infrastructure that provide economic and social benefits to regional and remote areas.
  • Community Investments Stream - funds the following community activities, new or expanded local events, strategic regional plans, and leadership and capability strengthening activities These projects will deliver economic and social benefits to regional and remote communities. Infrastructure activities are not eligible for the Community Investments Stream.  Learn more here

Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program – Department of Employmentprovides financial incentives to employers to encourage them to offer apprenticeship opportunities. The program also offers Trade Support Loans to apprentices and an allowance for apprentices who need to move away from home to undertake an apprenticeship.

The Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program provides:

  • Financial incentives to Australian employers to offer apprenticeship opportunities. The incentive payments are based on a skills shortage list of trades as well as a set of high priority occupations.
  • A Living Away from Home (LAFHA) allowance to apprentices who need to move away from their parent’s home to take up or retain an Australian apprenticeship
  • Access to an interest-free Trade Support Loan that helps apprentices with the costs related to completing their apprenticeship.

To find out more about the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives program, please click here.

Entrepreneurs Program - AusIndustry -The Entrepreneurs' Program is the Australian Government’s flagship initiative for business competitiveness and productivity. 

Click here for more information.

The program offers support to businesses through four elements:

  • Accelerating Commercialisation - helps small and medium businesses, entrepreneurs and researchers to commercialise novel products, services and processes
  • Business Management - experienced Business Advisers and Facilitators review business operations, including business direction, strategy, growth opportunities and supply chain. They provide a report with strategies for business improvement and work with you to make them happen.
  • Innovation Connections - experienced Innovation Facilitators work with your business to identify knowledge gaps that are preventing your business growth. The outcome is an Innovation Facilitation Report.

Small Business Grants – NSW Office of State Revenue - is designed to encourage small businesses that do not pay payroll tax to employ new full-time, part-time and casual workers and expand their enterprises across NSW. The Small Business Grant (Employment Incentive) will provide employers up to $2,000 per new employee for businesses that don't pay payroll tax. 

To find out more click here.

Teacher to Industry Tour

teacher industry tour

In November, a group of 15 teachers and career advisors representing schools from across the Shoalhaven visited a number of local businesses and heard first hand from business owners the career opportunities available in the Shoalhaven.The tips provided by the companies included that there are many jobs that are not advertised with lots of apprenticeships and traineeships available in the area. School leavers are encouraged to talk to businesses where they wish to work, to investigate what upcoming job opportunities may be around as many are not advertised.

Thank you to all the businesses who hosted the event including Air Affairs, Aerospace Training Services, Shoalhaven Water,  Kennedys, MI Engineering, Grand Pacific Health and Shoalhaven City Council.

To participate in next year's industry teacher tour contact the Economic Development team on



The Economic Development Office supports a range of business training and networking sessions throughout the Shoalhaven. 

Training - We would love to hear your feedback on what business training you would like to do in 2018. Email your suggestions to

Speaking in Public - Do you need help presenting in public? Council supports the Shoalhaven City Toastmasters Club - providing local businesses the opportunity to learn how to effectively communicate and present.  If guest speaking frightens you and you would like to learn more confidence talking in front of a crowd, Toastmasters may be the answer for you. 

The group welcomes visitors and meet in the Council Chambers at Bridge Street, Nowra on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 1pm-2pm and the fourth Wednesday of the month at Nowra Ex Servicemen's Club at 7 pm.  All welcome. Enquire here. To find out more about Toastmasters visit their website.

Make Local Business Connections

The Economic Development Office supports and encourages our Shoalhaven business community to keep connected and there are a range of business networks within the local region. The Shoalhaven is a community large enough to stimulate and small enough to feel a part of. Community interaction is a valued aspect of Shoalhaven life and networks have been formed to connect business people from disparate or similar industries. To find out more about local business networks and when their upcoming meetings and events are held click here.


Partnerships in Economy

Council in conjunction with University of Wollongong is working together to show an exemplary model of how Council works with industry, government, community and education for the benefit of all the people in the Shoalhaven. To ensure maximum opportunities for funding, infrastructure, job creation and hands on assistance for people in the Shoalhaven, a group of innovative organisations came together to address the challenge of improving and enhancing the wellness of our local community with preventive mental health care. The project would be through the translation of research innovations into applied practice, through the MIND the GaP project.  

The project  will include a purpose built facility at the University’s Shoalhaven Campus in Nowra. The University of Wollongong will contribute $1.23M toward the construction of the Mind the Gap facility and Shoalhaven City Council received $1.23M from the Commonwealth Government through the National Stronger Regions for the project . It will form a Mental Health and Wellbeing precinct for researchers and community service providers to collaborate in the development and delivery of new ‘best practice’ mental health care initiatives. To read this article in full, click here.

Mind the Gap

Pictured Left to Right: PROJECT PARTNERS: Lifeline South Coast Chairman Mr Stephen Long, Coordinare Regional Director Linda Livingstone, MP Ann Sudmalis, Shoalhaven Mayor Amanda Findley, Aboriginal Elder Uncle Tom Moore and Professor Alison Jones turn the first sod on the MIND the GaP facility at the University of Wollongong - Shoalhaven Campus

mind the gap

Economic Development Office

Contact the Economic Development Office on telephone: 02 4429 3388 to speak with:

  • Greg Pullen – Economic Development Manager
  • Marianne Jones – Economic Development Officer
  • Rianna Burgess – Economic Development Administration Officer

Click here to access Shoalhaven City Council Economic Development Website

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