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Appeared in The Urban Developer 12 February 2021.

It has been hard to miss the news of the Covid-induced exodus of city-dwellers to Australia’s regions.

What may be lesser known though, is that just an hour’s drive north of Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast has been an emerging economic powerhouse for years.

As a result of the exodus the region is now firmly in the spotlight as a destination for businesses to establish, relocate or expand to.

In a March 2020 report by Legion Property, analyst Yolanda Torres said “the Sunshine Coast market is one of the more affordable office markets compared to both state and interstate, with net face rents and capital values one of the most affordable on the east coast.”

“These lower real estate costs are a major factor in attracting businesses.”

Over the past 15 years, economic growth has outperformed almost every other regional economy, sparking a wave of new residential, commercial and industrial development.

The region is emerging as a key business hub, with lower commercial and industrial lease and land costs than the east coast capital cities.

With GDP forecast to more than double to $33 billion in 2033, economic growth is predicted to deliver 16,000 new jobs over the next five years.

Sunshine Coast’s $12.5bn infrastructure investment

Supporting investment

Sunshine Coast Council is actively encouraging business investment in the region.

Its trade and investment team provides a free concierge-style service for medium to large-sized businesses looking for location or development opportunities.

Business support includes site selection assistance, assistance with navigating council planning requirements, introductions to local business networks and financial incentives for large-scale investments (individually assessed against criteria).

Vitamin SC campaign

Last year, Sunshine Coast Council launched a quirky campaign, titled Give your business a boost of Vitamin SC—Sunshine Coast!

The 30-second campaign video is a fun take on the Australian regional renaissance and a campaign ebook outlines the region’s business benefits.

The Vitamin SC video was promoted online to an executive level business audience in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and was viewed 270,000 times and watched in full 71,000 times.

Business benefits

Big brands like Youi, Gourmet Garden, Huddle and Helimods have chosen to establish headquarters on the Sunshine Coast. Other well-known businesses such as Auto & General, Get Wines Direct and Office HQ have significant operations in the region.

What’s in a boost of Vitamin SC?

Skilled workforce

Companies that relocate business to the Sunshine Coast can tap into the region’s highly skilled and educated workforce as well as the next wave of emerging innovators.

A strong focus on STEM across all levels of education will equip the emerging workforce with the knowledge and experience needed to compete in a global marketplace.

In addition to the award-winning universities, there are more than 100 registered training organisations and 80 schools on the Sunshine Coast supporting 83,500 students.

On the world business map

The Sunshine Coast Broadband cable is expected to put the Sunshine Coast on the international business map as a leading investment destination for commerce and industry.

The cable offers an attractive proposition for the world’s biggest data users and those looking for a location with superior telecommunications and data infrastructure and will provide Australia’s fastest international data and telecommunications connection from the east coast to Asia.

Sunshine Coast Council welcomes and supports the growth of local businesses and the establishment of new ones in the region.

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