Firm Focus: Chamber down to business in fast-growing Springfield
GREATER Springfield is a master-planned community designed and managed by Springfield Land Corporation.
Its breathtaking achievements over a relatively short period of time has transformed the Western Corridor of south-east Queensland, now recognised as one of the fastest growing areas in Australia.
There are many partner organisations that have bought into the dream and embraced the opportunities.
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is a significant part of growth in the area and president Ralph Breaden, along with his committee, provides leadership to an equally rapid growing business community.
He is a small business operator in the community so knows firsthand some of the challenges.
"The businesses that we work with have a vision for the future, not too many businesses do that. It is vibrant and young - young in the sense that everyone is enthusiastic, are new to the area - because everyone has come from somewhere else and people want to make connections," Mr Breaden said.
As one of the 30,000 people who call Greater Springfield home, he established Clarity Wealth Advisers in this community.
"I came from the western suburbs of Brisbane and we move everything to here. It was when the GFC was kicking along but did it anyway because of the new growth and it has been a great decision," he said.
The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has 178 members and growing.
It collaborates with the Ipswich Chamber and Bremer Chamber.
The chamber also has links with Brisbane-based chambers to assist their members in continued growth and opportunities.
"With the significant growth comes issues, and we play a major role in dealing with issues head on - collaborating with the other key stakeholders to work our a solution," he said.
Infrastructure is a major challenge with such rapid growth and one of these is parking.
"We have had some wins on this but will continue to work on this matter," he said.
"Our challenge in the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce is to continue to support connections for business owners and managers.
"We need to keep them informed, hear their needs and address them and provide open and transparent structure, and keep inviting new people so they are supported."
Mr Breaden said the lack of a robust internet service in Greater Springfield plagued businesses and he was fighting to get a solution.
He has support from the key stakeholders.
"People either cannot connect because of poor data speed - alternatively the reality that there is no network capacity currently in the area so people just literally cannot get a physical connection into the business," he said.
Against the bright future, the chamber does not shy away from the tough issues.
They hold a number of events where non-members can attend and actively seek new members.
With the projected population base in 2030 to be around 105,000 and expected employment locally for 30,000, the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce has its work cut out for it.
In its 10-year history it has actively worked in the community to be the success it is today.
The next event will be held on Wednesday, June 17 - a 7am breakfast with Pillow Talk managing director Heath Goddard.
It is a members and guests only event to be held at Springlake Hotel.
For more information visit www.greaterspringfieldchamber.com.au or call 3470 0750.