Owners of Pappa’Delles Italian Restaurant, Ralph and Karon Reali, opened on Monday night to a full house.
Owners of Pappa’Delles Italian Restaurant, Ralph and Karon Reali, opened on Monday night to a full house.

Bundy business is booming

THERE is no other way to say it — business in Bundaberg is booming.

While just months ago the NewsMail reported on the empty state of CBD stores, Bundaberg realtors are now fighting to keep up with the demand for space.

The opening of new stores Zetta Boutique and Pappa’Delles Italian Restaurant may be just the start of what is to come.

And as Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce takes a seat on the state board for the first time, other regional centres plan to send representatives to Bundaberg to see how we do it.

John Fidden Real Estate principal John Fidden said realtors were struggling to keep up with demand after being bombarded with requests for business leases and purchases over the past two months.

“It is all very positive at the moment,” he said.

Mr Fidden said the businesses ranged from retail to industrial and were situated all over town.

“It’s all happening, we have barely got the energy to keep up,” Mr Fidden said.

In the past month, the realtor has sold two commercial properties and rented out 10.

“We are getting short on places to lease all over town,” he said.

Catherine Rodenburg recently moved from Sydney to open a clothing store, Zetta Boutique, in Bourbong Street.

Ms Rodenburg owns four stores and has had a fantastic response since opening two weeks ago.

“It’s been a really positive start,” she said.

Pappa’Delles Italian Restaurant opened on Monday night to a full house.

Owners Ralph and Karon Reali previously owned a restaurant on the Gold Coast and saw an opening in the market.

“We give the traditional presentation of the food with a modern twist.”

Current business owners are expanding, with co-owner of Bundy Wholesale Palms and Plants Le-Isa Pratt purchasing and relocating Costume Wonderland.

The business, now located on Takalvan Street has already surpassed Ms Pratt’s expectations since opening on November 12.

“The response is fantastic,” she said.

“It has been incredibly busy and better than I ever expected.”

Ms Pratt moved the store from Dunn Street and said the new location was “100 per cent better.”

The Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce is also expanding its horizons, being assigned a regional seat to Chamber of Commerce Industry Queensland (CCIQ), a position previously held by Hervey Bay.

Chamber president Ron Bishop said the change is a sensible step.

“It only makes sense for us to take it over due to our size and being the hub of the region,” he said.

Mr Bishop said the most recent meeting of CCIQ had made him realise how lucky Bundaberg business is.

“I went to the CCIQ meeting with a lot of issues to air to the committee and other chairs but after the other chairs gave their reports, I realised we don’t have a lot to complain about,” he said.

“Brisbane, Townsville, and Cairns have unemployment at 10%, 13.8%, and 15% respectively.”

This compares to just over 6% in Bundaberg.

Mr Bishop said a large number of farmers on the west side of Brisbane region were moving to Bundaberg to farm here and other regions were planning to visit the Bundaberg region to look at how we do things.

“They are looking for ways to be more diversified like Bundaberg, which says a lot about how we are doing business here in Bundaberg,” Mr Bishop said.

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