IT was an appropriate place to launch a month that celebrates business in Bathurst.
Mayor Robert Taylor and Bathurst Business Chamber president Paul Jones kicked off BizMonth on Thursday when they gathered at one of the city's newest shops: Foster and Co Botanicals in George Street.
Foster and Co, which opened on August 1, is one of almost 3800 businesses across Bathurst, according to Cr Taylor, and that figure is growing.
"There are 3726 registered businesses in Bathurst and there have been 45 new GST businesses since the March quarter and 115 new GST businesses for the year," he said.
"The Bathurst gross regional product for 2020-21 was $2.55 billion - an increase of 2.6 per cent over the previous year."
Cr Taylor said the COVID lockdowns had knocked Bathurst around, as they knocked around towns and cities across the state, but he felt Bathurst was emerging with strength.
"My dear old dad used to say that if ever there is an economic downturn, Bathurst is the last to suffer and the first to recover," he said.
He pointed to new retailers announced for the Gateway development at Kelso (Anaconda, Harris Scarfe Home and Beacon Lighting), Simplot's planned $65m upgrade to its Bathurst manufacturing facility and IBM's partnership with CSU that will create hundreds of new jobs as evidence of the city's economic strength.
"It [Bathurst] is an attractive regional centre," he said.
"If people are looking at coming to regional areas, they'll put Bathurst as one of the major centres to come to."
Foster and Co Botanicals owner Zana Foster said opening her own florist shop had been a "long-time dream".
"I did events styling for many years and I had my own business, but I've always made with florals," she said.
BizMonth in Bathurst will include a seminar about networking and prospering and a grant writing workshop.
The major event of the month will be a business lunch, on Tuesday, September 13, with seven-time world surfing champion Layne Beachley.
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