Finding business opportunities from the COVID-19 crisis was the theme for the first physical function for the Women in Business Regional Network since March.
Hosted at The Boulevard Café by the Lake at Encounter Bay, the dinner on July 1, welcomed several new members and founder, Carolyn Jeffrey, spoke about the network's 20 per cent membership growth over the past two months.
"There was definitely an air of excitement for everyone as we held our first in-person event since hibernation began," Carolyn said.
"I was very pleasantly surprised by the buoyant attitudes and the exciting projects that had been born during the crisis including businesses opening new premises, new businesses commencing, plus those who had turned an employer closure into an opportunity to become an owner instead.
"Although restrictions are easing, it's important for everyone to realise we're not out of the woods and financially there's likely to be a lot more pain ahead, so businesses need to be taking advantage of every opportunity they can at the moment to not only make money, but to adjust their businesses to find savings too. We can't afford to sit back and just wait."
Carolyn said there were some great signs that regional areas could ultimately be better off in post COVID times.
"There is an increasing recognition that where people work from is no longer as rigid as it once was. People working from home has shown that city-based businesses can have staff operating anywhere, so, if you could choose to work wherever you wanted to be, many would choose a regional area rather than in the thick of a major city," Carolyn said.
"As regional businesses we must now stand up for our regions and promote the advantages of living and working outside the cities."
As well as outlining a checklist of things people could do to work on their businesses if they weren't as busy at present in their businesses, Carolyn outlined some areas where she believed there would be growth, at least in the short term.
The list included Australian-made products, health and well-being, local travel, online sales and services, social welfare, tech support, training and HR, cost-cutting including DIY, legal services, employment services, cleaning and business support.
The next Victor Harbor function will be a lunch on Wednesday, August 5, at the Hotel Crown when representatives from Alexandrina Council, the City of Victor Harbor and Business Victor Harbor are expected to speak about what they're offering for local businesses.
The Women in Business Regional Network is open to business owners, managers, staff and those dreaming of owning their own business. You don't have to be a member to attend events but bookings are essential via Eventbrite.com.au.
For more information about the Women in Business Regional Network visit www.wibnetwork.com.au or phone Carolyn on 0435 432 203.