BOOMING BUSINESSES: Jacquie and Brett Irwin put part of their success down to diversification.
BOOMING BUSINESSES: Jacquie and Brett Irwin put part of their success down to diversification. Tessa Mapstone

Confidence soars in local agriculture based businesses

BUSINESS is booming in the South Burnett agriculture, trades and services industries, with no sign of slowing down.

Kingaroy Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice-president Josh Gadischke said trades and services businesses were experiencing record results, with many receiving their best trading in three to four years.

"I think it's fair to say the fundamentals are right, our key drivers for generating income to the region are strong, and as part of the economic cycle we will see some good flow on effects for our town," Mr Gadischke said.

"As an agriculturally based region, we've had possibly our best summer crop in many years - some peanut growers are saying the best in eight years - high Duboisia leaf prices and high beef prices, even our avocado growers at Kumbia are receiving prices that make them smile.

"The reality is in the last six months or so there has been a fairly big turn-around in our agricultural drivers and that flows on to the town itself."

While some big retail businesses in Kingaroy have closed in recent months, Mr Gadischke said soft trading in the town was not the only cause.

"This is in line with broader trends for the industry," he said.

"There are successful retailers who evolve and change with consumer demands, these businesses are doing well."

Ollie's Mower Service, run by Jacquie and Brett Irwin, is one of those businesses feeing the benefits of the economic upturn since Christmas.

The business recorded its best monthly earnings in 10 years for June and July.

"Our new sales have definitely increased, our workshop has been steady," Mr Irwin said.

"I think what happened to us in the short term was the local economy coming up to Christmas was bad with the drought."

Since then things have improved and Mrs Irwin puts that down partly due to the increase in fortune of primary producers and partly due to the changes the couple made to the business.

"We diversified into quad bikes and ATVs to cover the peaks and troughs," she said.

"The things we do to keep customers coming back in like sending out service reminder cards has helped.

"Our customer service and profession image have been important too - it's the first impressions that make decisions."

South Burnett

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