Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC) CEO Kerry Grace has paid a visit to Taree to gain an understanding on the current stance of the local economy.
Kerry was joined by Taree Business Chamber president Jeremy Thornton on Tuesday to meet with MidCoast Council and several small businesses.
Kerry also fronted the Taree Business Chamber breakfast event on Wednesday to present an overview of the RDA’s plans for 2017.
"I'm really trying to get a good handle on what is happening in Taree and how people are thinking and feeling about the economy here, looking at what opportunities exist and really trying to find out what role we can play.
“We don't want to duplicate what other people are doing we want to compliment it," Kerry said.
The RDAMNC is a collaborative organisation that works with local governments, industries and communities in the hope of creating economic development.
This includes developing employment opportunities as well as encouraging investment and industry growth.
Kerry added the RDA is in the process of creating the Region Plan for 2017-2020 to ensure it has value.
"I believe it requires more collaborative input from not only the local government but the local councils we represent and also local businesses so we're gathering that data at the moment,” Kerry said.
Kerry insists small businesses should seek assistance to grow.
“As somebody who grew up in this region, the parochialism I think is something that needs to change and the more people we get to return to the community and relocate is just something we all need to embrace.
“We need a really positive, supportive and collaborative culture so that we can work together as a community on programs and give them some momentum instead of people walking alone," Kerry said.
Taree business Bamboo by Logan Leigh is looking to capitalise on this notion.
Following a visit from Kerry on Tuesday, co-owners David and Gay Embury outlined plans to open up a new factory dedicated to new bamboo products.
This would allow an extra 25 employees to be added for the short term with an opportunity for 25 full time positions.
"I can't do this alone so to get support and to get someone of the higher level of Kerry to come to the Manning that's a real bonus for us,” David said.
The business is hoping that one of several vacant factories in the Taree Industrial Area can be bought in conjunction with funding from the Federal government.