GROWTH FACTOR: Tanya Milligan and Louis Bickle of the Katarzyna Group signed off on a $20 million worker accommodation complex for Grantham in April.
GROWTH FACTOR: Tanya Milligan and Louis Bickle of the Katarzyna Group signed off on a $20 million worker accommodation complex for Grantham in April. Lachlan McIvor

Lockyer businesses to benefit from developments

SMALL businesses in the Lockyer Valley are expected to be some of the biggest beneficiaries from the several projects and developments under way in and around the region.

The Plainland Crossing town centre and Grantham worker accommodation complex are two of the big developments set for the region, while the Toowoomba Second Range Crossing is another that could prove beneficial.

Lockyer Chamber of Commerce president Paul Emmerson said the activity was only good news for the area.

"There's some good things going on, with lots of development and proposals happening,” Mr Emmerson said.

"We should be getting some spin-off from the second range crossing being built and there are plenty of projects in the pipeline that are getting close to commencing, as well as the hotel coming to town and the Plainland development.”

Although he admitted small business owners were always going to have to battle large shopping centres in Toowoomba and Ipswich, Mr Emmerson said there were reasons to be positive going forward.

"We went into a black hole for a bit but it's improved,” he said.

"I feel the projects that are happening, they're happening rather than being talked about.”

He pointed to the backpacker complex as a "significant development” for the region.

"General activity is what we're looking for. It will keep people living here and working in the valley. The more money spent here will be retained here and it will go around.”

Gatton cafe jak and Mo Taste Co owner Angela Jackwitz said she was confident for the future of her business.

"I believe that the town is growing,” she said.

"There are bigger things coming and if we provide the services for people to shop locally then they stay local.”

Mrs Jackwitz believed the region had experienced a shift in recent times.

"I feel as if we are getting the things we need and we're getting some focus.

"We're not now just Gatton, we are a regional area that is growing,” she said.


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