Renmark Paringa Network Helps Boost Local Businesses

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Life is picking up steam in Renmark thanks to the initiatives and support of a group of volunteers and business leaders.

The Riverland area has seen a boom in local businesses with the Renmark Paringa Network helping residents return the main streets of both cities to lively shopping destinations.

The Renmark Paringa Network was established in November 2019 by a group of volunteers aiming to bring together the Renmark business community to positively influence their economic future.

The network has attracted more than 100 members and organized several initiatives to promote and support local businesses.

“At the end of May, we had a total of 120 companies,” said Georgie Vermeeren, Membership and Network Marketing Coordinator.

“We went from a very small number [of members] to a very large number in 18 months, which has been really great.

Part of the initiative is a website that functions as a directory for Renmark Paringa businesses.

The website includes information about the group’s initiatives and a community job board that allows members to post job vacancies.

The most successful project was the Community Voucher initiative which re-injected funds into the community by allowing residents to purchase vouchers to spend at participating businesses.

The council-funded initiative allowed locals to pay $ 10 for redeemable vouchers worth $ 20, with the council making a difference to help promote spending in local businesses.

The first round of coupons saw 1,500 purchases and $ 30,000 injected into the local community, with the current coupon initiative estimated at an additional $ 40,000 with over 2,000 coupons already sold.

“It was one of our big initiatives and something that really helped us build awareness of our brand and let the public know who we are and what the Renmark Paringa network does,” said Vermeeren.

The group also organizes professional development and training workshops in relevant areas to help and educate members.

“We recently held a grant writing workshop at Renmark so that our members got it at a discounted rate and other people could sign up, but not at a discounted rate,” Vermeeren said.

In 2021, the Renmark Paringa network opened its shared spaces, a business center and a retail center that can be rented in turn.

“We have what is called a ‘Business Hub’ which currently has four tenants who rotate on different days and use the office and that space, and therefore have a reduced rent rate because they share those offices,” Vermeeren said. .

“We also have a ‘retail center’ which is for people looking to run pop-up shops or who typically work in a market stall and want to hire for a day or two just to get their foot in the door. be in a store front.

“Working together has encouraged people to step out of their comfort zone and start opening stores again and it really fills our city. “

Owner of TH Books, Tammy Hamood said the network has been beneficial to the Renmark Paringa area.

“Initiatives like the coupons have attracted a different customer base than usual and it gives people the chance to discover and shop at businesses they’ve never been to before,” Hamood said.

“It also makes the Renmark Paringa area busier with more visitors and tourists thanks to the brand awareness created by the Renmark Paringa network.”

The group will host a Business Awards Night on Saturday June 26 to introduce Renmark business owners.

The business awards evening will present all members of the network with a trophy to reward their hard work, in addition to specific prizes awarded to winners in categories such as innovation, greening, non-profit organization. lucrative and emerging success.

“It’s about recognizing all the businesses in our region and rewarding them for all the hard work they’ve done,” said Vermeeren.

Vermeeren said that as the number of network members grows, so do neighborhood businesses and storefronts.

“This is one of the things the network wanted to see,” Vermeeren said.

“We wanted to promote and help businesses get their foot in the door and be seen.

“I think it’s definitely starting to work and we’re seeing fewer empty stores on our main streets. “

This story is part of Solstice Media Regional Presentation Series and Awards Program. Each week, we’ll bring our readers important regional news as well as inspiring stories of individuals and communities doing what the locals do best – have a try.

If you have a story to tell or know of one, contact us at South Australian regional showcase.

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