Business owners and the community had the chance to connect and learn about the vision for the area at the Ignite Mid North Coast (MNC) Symposium today.
The event was held at The Slim Dusty Centre and featured a number of guest speakers throughout the day who spoke on how they would like regional areas to look in 2030 in regards to businesses and how technology can aide small business growth.
This year is the third Ignite Symposium hosted by Regional Development Australia, with the first two being held in Bellingen and Bowraville.
Federal Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan opened the event and spoke of his prior experience being a business owner.
"I understand how difficult business can be. I've been very lucky over the last four or five months that I've been the Federal Member to meet with people who have good ideas for the future," he said.
"People who have the imagination and the technology is where our future is. We need to use this technology to prepare our region for the future.
"Regional businesses are what provide jobs to local people, the Government has the obligation to support small businesses so these jobs can continue to be created."
The theme of this year's Ignite is 'Your world 2030', with a focus on how technology can be used to grown small businesses in regional areas.
During a panel discussion, former engineer and now smart mobility enthusiast, Zoe Eather, said the focus for 2030 is on skill sets and connections.
"We need to focus on regional areas and the skill set that's there, not all on technology," she said.
Ignite MNC 2019 keynote speaker Steve Sammartino spoke of how regional areas, like Kempsey, can grow small businesses locally without having to move to the cities.
"For the first time we're walking around with the world in our pockets. We can connect from anywhere," he said.
"We no longer have to move for work and can manage a business from anywhere. That's what can change for Kempsey, people realising they don't have to leave the area to be a successful business owner or entrepreneur.
"There is a real connection here in regional areas that isn't like the city. Cities are filled with quick transactions with strangers.
"That's what I see for 2030, regional areas like here on the Mid North Coast taking back resources from the city and growing small businesses," Steve said.
Director of Regional Development Kerry Grace said the event was a chance for networking as well as brainstorming ideas for the 10 year plan for the area.
"It's about bringing leaders of business and the community together to address things such as skill sets and business development," she said.
"Ignite is developed to be creative to allow people to work together and this year's theme is looking forward as to how we can make that happen over the next 10 years."
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