Curtis Island workers buy Gladstone businesses in downturn

A RECORD low interest rate, dropping rental prices and people transitioning out of the construction and resources industry is the perfect environment to start a new business, a local real estate agent says.

Old established businesses like Brad Busteed Upholstery and Neville Gregory Jewellers are closing their doors but at the same rate new businesses, like Dante's Store and Spotlight, are opening theirs.

For buyers out there, it's a cheap market with the revenues down the price to buy a business is going with it and as foot traffic slows down the rent prices are falling too.

To help the case for entrepreneurs to take the plunge, earlier this month the Reserve Bank of Australia dropped the interest rate to a record low of 2%, making loan repayments more manageable than ever

Alicia WIlliams talks about buying or starting a new business in Gladstone.

Locations Estate Agent's director Alicia Williams has seven businesses on her books and has two to three enquiries a week from people looking to start or take over a business in Gladstone.

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"At that sort of price (for a business) there is a huge potential upside depending how (new owners) want to diversify their product lines and services," she said.

"But if they bought the (businesses) at the top (of the boom) the risk is quite high because they stand to lose (when it goes down)."

She said there was a mixture of new and old Gladstone families enquiring about the businesses on her books.

"They've gone out to the island on the bigger money and they've come back with the cash reserve to start their own or buy an existing business," she said.

Chillaxing Cafe owner Shelly Strange is an example of that buying the coffee shop in Gladstone Square just before her work on Curtis Island finished.

Montague Developments took advantage during the boom as well and was now trying to put it back into small business.

Director Paul Hey has set up the fourth floor of CentrePoint on Goondoon St for businesses without offices.

ConocoPhillips had refurbished the fourth floor and now it has left the high tech office suite sitting idle.

CentrePoint Corporate opens Wednesday and offers boardrooms, private offices, meeting and training rooms, on-site receptionist and high speed fibre WIFI at a short or long term rate.

"We are providing small businesses access to facilities usually only big business can afford," Paul said.

Catrina Trail is already using the space as her office for Grand Events Australia.

It has allowed Catrina to live in Gladstone while organising CQ Mega Lifestyle Expo in Rockhampton at the end of the month.

"They have them in all major cities and it's nice to see a regional area get a space like this," she said

There will be a small business seminar held tonight on the third floor of CentrePoint from 6pm-7.30pm and to RSVP contact 4972 2484.


The Black Duck Bistro (rebranded)

Be Pampered (relocated)

Red Prawn (new owners)

Nuellie de Fleur (home business)

MRP Property (rebranded)

Please note: In today's paper this story also had a list of newly opened and closed/closing businesses in the Gladstone region. It was incorrectly published that Clinton Chef's Takeaway was closing. We are very sorry about the error and misunderstanding. Clinton Chef's Takeaway is open Tuesdays-Saturdays from 8.30am. They're located at the airport shops across the road from Bunnings. Dine-in or takeaway. Phone orders are also welcome on 4978 0338.

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