THE mantra of sustainability of new Mayor Mark Jamieson has convinced multi-million dollar furniture manufacturer Bizfurn to change its mind about relocating to New South Wales.
The move has helped save scores of jobs in the region, and has highlighted just how seriously the Sunshine Coast mayor regards the creation and preservation of jobs in the region.
"I want to strengthen the economy and you can only do that if you keep good businesses in the region, and the jobs that go with it," Mr Jamieson said.
"I welcome Bizfurn's support. It's a great shot in the arm for business confidence and shows the Coast is open for business.
Denis Moore, who established Bizfurn on the coast 26 years ago, said he feared he "was not welcome" in the region in recent years as he battled to gain the necessary permits required to build necessary new factory premises.
"I wasn't after any favours; I just wanted to know if we were welcome and I didn't feel we were welcome," he said.
"I didn't like the direction the Coast was headed; there was no certainty for business, and everything was getting too hard."
Coupled with the constant struggle to find employees here due to the mining industry exodus, and a pending major contract win to supply furniture to the NSW education system, and Mr Moore was on the verge of leaving, albeit reluctantly.
He changed his mind following the Council elections.
"I've seen some really positive changes in the last six months; a pro-business budget, a business leaders' round table and support for economic development," Mr Moore said.
"We're already seeing the results with new businesses coming here, and existing ones having the confidence to expand.
"I see a bright future in the region under the leadership of the new Mayor and new council."
Mr Jamieson visited Mr Moore's Yandina factory yesterday morning to more-formally highlight the positive outcome, and to hopefully provide encouragement to other businesses.
Bizfurn has 80 employees, mostly based on the Sunshine Coast with some salespeople based interstate. It has an annual turnover of $50m, conducting around 75% of its business with Queensland government and business, 20% with the NSW Government and 5% with the Victorian Government. Sales in NSW are soon expected to grow to around 50% of his business.
Last month international company Stellar announced it would establish a contact centre at Maroochydore and create 190 jobs.
That followed the decision by Zehnder Gluten Free to invest another $5.3 million in the region, and expand its workforce to 68 full-time positions.