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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

NORTEC small business incubation site sold

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Jewellery maker Adelaide Friday, who moved onto the NORTEC site, with her business Pirates Dreaming. Photo Aslan Shand.

Aslan Shand

NORTEC’s small business incubation site in Byron Bay industrial estate has been bought by a local developer and builder who is keen to create a hub for successful local businesses.

Some of the businesses who were at the location and under the auspices of NORTEC will be remaining and Noel Cratchley is looking at upgrading the site to give it a new vibe and create a successful local business space. 

As previously reported, NORTEC have yet to comment publicly over their liquidation of their property assets, which has left many small businesses in the lurch. 

Noel Cratchley says he wants to create a shopping precinct for local businesses.

‘There is a lot of work to do – the gutters don’t work, the site floods and it is generally run down,’ Noel continued. 

Having built the trip-a-deal and surfboard agency buildings, among others, Noel is keen to keep things local and good quality. 

‘I’m going to do a full renovation of the building block, then I will be looking at create a strata for a few of them, selling a few and keeping some.’

Jewellery maker Adelaide Friday, who moved onto the NORTEC site, with her business Pirates Dreaming, as a small business looking to develop he business model under NORTEC, will be one of the business to remain. 

‘I’m really excited about what Noel is going to create here,’ she said.

Lack of support 

Having brought her business onto the NORTEC site, Adelaide was quickly disappointed at the lack of support they provided.

‘When I moved onto the site, I was expecting to receive mentoring and support from NORTEC to help develop my business. But NORTEC just provided the space at a cheap rent. I didn’t even see them for the first six months after I moved in and then it was only to do things like check equipment for fire safety. 

Both Noel and Adelaide recognise that some of the businesses at the site were only using it for cheap rent and weren’t running a proper business, but Adelaide puts that down to poor management by NORTEC.

‘One of the conditions of being there was that a business was supposed to be open at least four days a week. But NORTEC were not active in their management of the businesses at the site.

‘I am hoping Noel is going to do what I had hoped would be the situation under NORTEC and there will be an exciting and creative range of businesses here.’

Initially the businesses who have negotiated to remain on the site will continue at the same rents they had under NORTEC and as they increase revenue, Noel will look at increasing rents along with CPI to more commercial rates. 

‘I am more than happy to work with the businesses that are staying to increase their business revenue and look at rents that increase along with that. I’m working with the businesses there to help them be successful.

‘I’ve lived here for ten years and my kids go to the local school and are involved in the local clubs. I want to get in good local Byron businesses and products and bring a new and exciting vibe to the place.’

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