WORKING TOGETHER: Kim Campbell, project co-ordinator Sandi Parson and Michelle Milen come together at Coffee Club in Grafton Shoppingworld for a co-working space as part of Clarence Valley Council’s Smart Economy plan. Photo: Adam Hourigan
WORKING TOGETHER: Kim Campbell, project co-ordinator Sandi Parson and Michelle Milen come together at Coffee Club in Grafton Shoppingworld for a co-working space as part of Clarence Valley Council’s Smart Economy plan. Photo: Adam Hourigan

Home-based businesses unite for new networks

FOR Grafton's Michelle Milen, who runs a mobile bookkeeping business, setting up her laptop in a coffee shop and getting to work is not a new experience.

After five years of taking her business, Michelle's Bookkeeping 4U on the road, arranging a meeting in a coffee shop was not a new experience.

But yesterday was different as Michelle took advantage of Clarence Valley Economic Development Team's launch of its Smart Economy initiative.

The team held its first Co-Working Space in Grafton's Coffee Club to encourage people who work from home to get together and share their experiences.

"I wasn't sure what I would get out of it, but it was something I was excited about," Michelle said.

"When I heard about it, I jumped at the opportunity. It's something they're doing to develop business, so I wanted to support it."

Council's Smart Economy is a plan to encourage home-based businesses to develop as fast broadband becomes available in the Valley.

Over the next few months it will stage two more of the Co-Working Spaces - one each in Yamba and Maclean as well as information sessions.

Michelle said she was pleasantly surprised when she turned up at the Coffee Club yesterday with her laptop.

"Going to breakfast meetings is not something I have gone in for. Generally I am too busy," Michelle said.

"Having this in the day I was able to give myself the time to do it and it was great to talk to other people who do similar things."

A spokeswoman for the Economic Development Team said there were surprises for them as well.

"We had people come along from Telstra and from a building society to talk about business loans and communications.

"That was a real surprise for us," she said.



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