SEACHANGERS BOOST ONLINE ECONOMY

Written on the 4 July 2013

SEACHANGERS BOOST ONLINE ECONOMY

GOLD Coast Hinterland online businesses are selling more through PayPal than any other regional area in Australia.

The hinterland sits atop of PayPal Australia’s list of 10 regional hotspots for the period to March, with the highest total payment volume and a growth rate of 28 per cent.

Entrepreneurs taking a seachange are pushing the growth of the online economy in regional areas, with the coastal areas of Queensland and Northern New South Wales taking up most of the top 10.

“Regional centres have become hotbeds for innovative small businesses using the online world to reach consumers both in Australia and around the world,” says Emma Hunt, Head of Small Business at PayPal Australia.

“These areas have become a destination for seachangers, keen to get out of the city and make a flexible living as a niche small business.”

Small to medium-sized businesses in these hotspots are growing at a faster rate than those in the top 10 non-regional areas, according to PayPal data.

The total payment volume of online businesses from the top 10 regional SMBs grew by 47 per cent in the period. Overall, total payment volume for PayPal regional SMBs grew 27 per cent.

Andrew Lygo, managing director of Spectrem Online, operates a number of online retail sites out of the Gold Coast, including Birds off Boats, Birds Off, Australian Gear and Hats by the Hundred.

The initial website, Birds Off Boats, turned over $50,000 in its first year and the business has grown revenue by 100 per cent each year since.

Lygo moved the business from Sydney to Queensland for the coastal lifestyle.

“When we moved out of Sydney, we were keen to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, settling down in an area that was both relevant to our business and provided a more flexible way of life,” says Lygo.

“We’ve been in operation for eight years and are continuing to see significant growth in our niche offering, by successfully operating both an online store and a showroom in the Gold Coast.”


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