Following the 2012-13 economic analysis of the Eastern Region undertaken by Professor Richard Blandy which included an ERA Economic Development Strategy, the group focused on creating an action plan for 2013/14 to 2016/17 based on the findings of the Blandy report.
The ‘ERA Business & Economic Development Action Plan 2013/14 to 2016/17’ was endorsed by each of the ERA Council members and includes projected timelines, lead Council and estimated resource implications for the following 3 key themes:
- Creative Industries / Smart Region
- Events, Tourism and Lifestyle
- Small Business support, trader liaison and education
Based on the ERA region’s economic characteristics, focusing on the Creative Industry sector, establishing a smart region strategy and capitalising on the emerging digital economy opportunities became priorities adopted by ERA in its Economic Development Action Plan 2014-17.. The Business & Economic Development Group has remained focused on developing a Creative Industry & Smart Region Framework as a primary Action Plan objective. This will identify a range of tangible projects for ERA Councils to consider to pursue.
In early 2015, a Creative Industry Association Reference Group was established to inform the Strategy and identify suitable projects to pursue. The Group met four times and identified projects that form part of the Framework.
The ERA Councils also continue their financial support of the Eastside Business Enterprise Centre (EBEC) in partnership with the Federal Government through the Australia Small Business Advisory Services funding (SBAS).