Cleve businesses meet in networking session

KNOWLEDGE: Speakers Rachel Hawkins and Sharni-Marie Barney with Emcee Ray Marino.

Local Cleve businesses met for brunch on Sunday for the second annual Cleve District Business Networking Event.

Five tables of business owners, managers and staff gathered to hear two speakers who had been invited to travel from Port Lincoln to attend.

Several Main Street Traders were represented including Mint Fusion, Elders Cleve, Bendigo Bank Cleve and Cleve Auto Repairs, as well as Brumfield Electronics, the Cleve Newsagency, the Eyre Peninsula Tribune and more.

Rachel Hawkins of My Eyre Peninsula discussed her local business directory and lead the group in a goal-setting activity.

Former local Sharni-Marie Barney of Forj Marketing gave an introduction into social media marketing, which prompted discussion among the group of how best to collaborate to assist all businesses in gaining exposure.

A topic of discussion was the importance of respecting nearby local businesses, with several business owners expressing a desire to avoid competition with one another through communication.

The event was organised by the Cleve District Tourism and Development Group, who took the opportunity to promote a ‘Buy Local’ spend tracking initiative.

Over a three month period beginning in March, businesses in the Cleve District will have boxes for customers to submit receipts, with a $100 voucher awarded to a participant at random each month.

The initiative aims to assist the council in tracking the spending habits of locals and visitors within the district to assist with grant applications.

Sharon Crettenden from the Tourism and Development Group said they often spoke about Cleve as the “hub of the Eyre Peninsula,” but it was difficult to collect solid data to support their claim.

Event emcee Ray Marino said data was necessary to prove to government organisations that the district was worth spending money on.

“Having data like this helps when you’re doing an application for a grant,” he said.

The Cleve District Council recently committed to purchasing Spendmapp, a program which will give them access to data around EFTPOS transactions in the area.

Mrs Crettenden said the software was “exciting” for the group, but the buy local campaign would assist where customers are not using EFTPOS.



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