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Centre brings opportunity

PERTH’S new convention centre means big opportunities for WA’s small business sector, says Small Business Develop-ment Corporation managing director George Etrelezis.

“While the new convention centre will be constructed by the large Multiplex consortium, there will be significant multiplier benefits to a wide range of small businesses,” Mr Etrelezis said.

“Sectors most likely to capitalise on this project include tourism and hospitality, the general service industries and the small business component of the building sector.

“During the construction phase, up to 5,000 employment opportunities will exist for construction-related small

businesses, including tradesmen, sign makers and interior designers.

Mr Etrelezis said the development of a state-of-the-art convention centre aimed to increase the State’s share of the meetings and exhibition industry market which employed many small businesses.

The conventions industry currently generates $7 billion annually for the nation, with WA claiming a 10 per cent

market share.

“WA’s share of the meetings and exhibition industry market is certain to increase with four substantial conventions already organised for the new centre in 2003-04,” Mr Etrelezis said.

“Visitors attending conventions are likely to be ‘super tourists’, spending an estimated $600 per day, with flow-on

benefits to small retailers, restaurants, taxi services, nightclubs and tourism operators in Perth and other areas.

“The centre’s ongoing operations will provide opportunities for small retailers, food outlets, caterers, cleaning contractors and security firms.

“Events held at the centre will also provide flow-on work to outside small businesses such as event organisers, stage and lighting specialists, printers, florists and caterers.

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