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Byron Shire
December 1, 2023

Talking staff shortage solutions for NSW Small Business Month

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Facilitators Cameron Arnold, Susan Wanmer and Sabine Muschter from the Let’s Talk Series. Photo supplied.

Northern Rivers NSW is experiencing severe staff shortages – both skilled and unskilled. It’s a global issue, but local staff shortages have been amplified by lockdowns, lack of affordable housing for workers, and flood impacts. This is an ongoing problem both for businesses and workers.

Right now it’s NSW Small Business Month, and an event on Wednesday 16 November at the Byron Community Centre will examine some possible solutions to the staffing problem, emerging from the business community and beyond.

The local facilitators of the Let’s Talk series for NSW Small Business Month are Cameron Arnold, from Regen Tourism, Susan Wanmer from Ausana Marketing Institute, and
Sabine Muschter.

Over the past thirteen months they have worked on the Northern Rivers Business Literacy project and group. They say staffing shortages and the need for a whole-of-community response has shown up as the number one issue in the region.

Susan Wanmer said, ‘We hope to encourage anyone who has toyed with the idea of consulting, starting a business, or strengthening their current business to attend and add their voice and questions towards defining “better”, and seeing how their skills could contribute to the staff shortage conversation.’

She says the plan is to explore varied, wonderful initiatives and ideas that abound into a new way of doing business in the region, within a collaborative community.

Talking solutions

The 16 November event will begin with fast-paced sharings from a diverse group of local, experienced business owners sharing innovative snapshots of their journeys facing and overcoming challenges.

The floor will then be opened to attendees. Organisers say any aspiring business person, established business owner, worker, or resident’s voice is welcome. All are welcome to add insights, wisdom and/or questions to this targeted problem-solving conversation for community collaboration in Northern Rivers.

If Byron deserves better, what does better mean for us all? Organisers say this is an opportunity to be part of the staff shortage solution, rising up from a well-represented, collaborative community discussion, open to local residents, workers and businesses.

This Small Business Month ‘Connect for Success’ event is made possible through Sabine Muschter’s Let’s Talk initiative, funded by the Byron Community Initiatives grant.

The 16 November event at the Byron Commnunity Centre will begin at 5.30pm with drinks and nibbles at the bar, then the Staff Shortage Solutions event will run from 6-7.30pm, followed by a Q&A until 8pm. Cost is $10.

You can register and get more information here.

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  1. So rented a room a few weeks back, near Roadhouse. Over 100 applicants in a week, from just flatmate.com.au alone. 90% travellers 25+ looking to work in the area yet cannot find any accomm priced in line with the wage.
    We solve that issue and where back to a thriving community.
    Byron seems alittle odd at the moment, so much investment with no regard for short term economics of the town.. check back in in 5 years!


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