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Starting a business in Geelong: Top growth areas

Are you looking for a high-growth business area in Geelong? We can help.

Geelong, Victoria's second largest city, is located just 75 km away from Melbourne, making it the ideal place to start a small business outside the capital. Furthermore, 45 per cent of organisations in the city have high or very high confidence in the region's commercial environment for 2018, according to Geelong's latest Business Trends Survey.

Identifying the right location to start your small business will be a key part of your entrepreneurial plans. The best spot depends on your chosen market and overall business goals, so please contact an experienced Geelong-based accountant at WMC Accounting to discuss your needs in more detail.

If you simply want an idea of key growth areas in the city, here are a few options to get you started.

Central Geelong and the waterfront

For retail and office-based small businesses, you can't beat Central Geelong and Geelong Waterfront for footfall. They are the city's hub for commerce, health, education and the arts, as well as offering some of Geelong's most popular real estate.

The City of Greater Geelong confirmed that employment has jumped 44 per cent in Central Geelong since the 2011 Census, with health care and social assistance jobs leading the charge. Public administration, safety, and training and education are also high-growth industries.

"The tremendous growth in employment in Central Geelong is reflective of the fact that government and businesses alike are choosing our city for their headquarters," said Tim Ellis, acting director of investment and attraction for the City of Greater Geelong.

The Port Precinct

Geelong's port is the second largest in Victoria and handles more than 10.5 million tonnes of product every year across a number of market segments, including crude oil, fertiliser and woodchips, according to GeelongPort data.

The port's bulk and break bulk trade is expected to jump 59 per cent by 2020, Enterprise Geelong figures show. Liquid cargo quantities are also forecast to experience growth over the next 18 months.

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If imports and exports are a key part of your business plan, starting a small business near the Port Precinct ensures excellent transport links and proximity to the Heales Road Industrial Estate.

North Geelong Precinct

The North Geelong Precinct is the optimal location for warehouse operations and other light industrial small businesses and sole traders. The area already accommodates a range of industries, including:

  • Transport and logistics;
  • Food processing;
  • Engineering;
  • Equipment hire; and
  • Showrooms.

Northern Geelong is also part of local council plans to prepare both Northern Geelong and Western Geelong for future population growth. Approximately 155 to 200 hectares of land in Northern Geelong is being set aside for employment activities across the industrial, health, retail and office sectors. Enterprise Geelong notes that the area is fully serviced and close to the city centre, with easy access to Melbourne via Princes Freeway.

Geelong Ring Road Employment Precinct (GREP)

Touted as the ideal place to establish, expand or relocate a business, GREP offers 500 hectares of land for heavy industrial purposes. While the area itself may not suit a sole trader or other small business, it provides significant greenfield development opportunities for larger companies and is likely to be a major contributor to the local economy in the years to come.

According to the City of Greater Geelong, GREP's key market attributes include:

  • Close proximity to Melbourne;
  • Access to highly skilled workers;
  • Competitively priced land;
  • Excellent transport networks for road, rail, sea and air; and
  • Established infrastructure and services.

If you plan to start a business at GREP, you'll find a 350,000-strong labour force lives within a 40-minute drive of the precinct.

Around 350,000 workers are a 40-minute drive from Geelong. Geelong is just a short drive from Melbourne.

Is now the time to consider a start-up in Geelong?

We've highlighted just four high-growth areas in the region, but there are many more and finding the right location for your business may require professional assistance.

WMC Accounting specialises in a range of advisory services, including business start-up, strategic planning, business development and benchmarking. We can help you identify the best market opportunities for your organisation, so please request an appointment today.

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