Portfolio Archive: Business & Economic Development

Far from a sleepy residential area, the ERA region is an economic powerhouse with developing industries, growing employment and output.

Boasting a $10b economy, with over 100,000 jobs, and nearly 30,000 registered businesses, the ERA region is a significant economy with its own challenges and opportunities in the future.

The Business and Economic Development Group was formed to help promote the region and develop regional strategies for economic growth.

As can be seen below, ERA is a $10b economy:


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).

Prior Achievements

Business Advisory Services Review

A major focus of the ERA B&ED Portfolio Group has been exploring options for the ongoing provision of small business advisory services in the eastern region since the State Government cessation of funding Business Enterprise Centres. The Group undertook a review of business advisory services in the region and explored various options for funding training and support for small to medium size enterprises.

A number of resulting actions have been implemented including:

  • The Eastside Business Enterprise Centre’s (EBEC) KPIs and reporting mechanisms have been revised to become outcome-focused and better aligned with the ERA councils’ strategic economic development goals
  • The City of Unley becoming a supporting council of the Eastside Business Enterprise Centre
  • Economic development staff members from ERA Councils becoming the Council representatives appointed to the board of EBEC
  • Changes to EBEC staffing
  • Governance reform

A review of EBEC’s constitution was conducted and a new manager was recruited.

Relevant Agencies


Creative Industries and the Smart Region – Way Forward

A ‘Creative Industries and the Smart Region – Way Forward’ paper was commissioned in May 2014 to identify the necessary steps to progress the Smart Region strategy.

Learn More