Almost half of the membership of Business SA comes from regional areas in the State. Business Kangaroo Island deputy chair Rodney Bell (pictured) attended a recent Business SA regional forum and said this was one of the revelations of the day.
"Business SA has 4000 members. They admit they might have been focusing too much on metropolitan issues and they've been making a concerted effort to do more for their regional members," Mr Bell said.
Business KI recently hosted a forum at the Ozone Hotel with Business SA Chief Executive Officer Nigel McBride at which about 15 Kangaroo Island businesses were able to access information about growth and the advantages of being members of both organisations.
One of the benefits of joining Business Kangaroo Island is that it enables you to then get half-price membership of Business SA and access to a wide range of their services, including advice on staff issues, such as awards, penalty rates and work safety through their business hotline.
Mr Bell said at the regional forum there were representatives from chambers of commerce in Loxton, the Riverland, Mt Gambier, Whyalla, Port Lincoln and others. Many were paying hundreds of dollars to be members of their chambers. Annual membership of Business KI is just $50 and more than 100 businesses have now joined.
"The issues raised at the forum were similar across all the regions - red tape, infrastructure, penalty rates and payroll taxes. Sometimes I think we forget how well serviced we are here in Kangaroo Island with our health services, hotels in each town and school campuses in the main towns.
"The other regions certainly feel we are lucky with our extra $2 million a year for roads and the $18 million committed from State and Federal Government for the airport upgrade."
Mr Bell said it was a great opportunity to form contacts with the other regions. He said Business SA was implementing a program to get to know its members better so that businesses were not just a faceless name on a list.
Guest speaker and former Crows footballer Nigel Smart spoke about bringing people together to achieve great things.
"I think there is a message for Kangaroo Island in terms of collaboration. We need to get our heads together to see if we really need all the industry bodies we have on the island or if we can do things more efficiently. Collaboration is the first step."
[See more information about the exclusive Business SA offer here]