BUSINESS BOOM: The sector with 1000% growth
FOOD and hospitality businesses are booming in Ipswich.
The closure of a popular café this week may have led some to believe food businesses were not viable in Ipswich but the city's peak body on small business says that's not the case.
In the past two years the number of café businesses operating in Ipswich has increased by 1000% and several regional hubs are ripe with opportunity.
Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Phillip Bell said in 2016 there were just four café type businesses operating in the Ipswich CBD area.
"Now there are 44," Mr Bell said.
"Each one offers something a little different and vibrant competition is what will lead to good outcomes for café owners in the CBD."
Mr Bell said while construction activity in the city centre was cause for excitement in the coming years, suburban areas were also full of potential.
"Ipswich is on the verge of developing not only a vibrant CBD but a nice village suburban atmosphere," Mr Bell said.
"Booval, Bundamba, Brassall and Silkstone; all those suburbs have the potential to build really nice niche suburban, cosmopolitan retail centres that include businesses in the restaurant and hospitality sectors."
Mr Bell encouraged anyone considering buying or starting a food and beverage business to "have a go".
He said the key to success was research.
"It's about being conscious of your product and service, doing your research and understanding what the market is doing," Mr Bell said.
"If people are interested in opening a business in that sector, be aware that often means long hours... yet the rewards can be absolutely fantastic."