WEDBWhyalla Economic Development Board (Whyalla, Australia)
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The findings of this research will assist the WEDB to play an active role in developing sustainable, socially responsible small businesses in the Whyalla region.
Potential participants were identified from the WEDB database and a written invitation to participate in the research project was sent to them.
Follow up support required from the University and the WEDB.
These owners should be targeted during initial intervention strategies by the university and WEDB, as business owners indicated that they do not have the necessary Internet skills to create a web page or set up an e-commerce site.
This low figure is in line with the concerns of the WEDB. The most important reasons for not having a web presence were unsuitable products and a lack of time and/or knowledge.
Business development officers within the WEDB and university experts with the technical knowledge and skills would be very suitable to play this role.
This is where the university and WEDB could play an important role in getting the message across to small businesses in its region.
A resident who was 'born and bred' in Whyalla and who had worked closely with small businesses in the region as an employee of the WEDB believed that the isolation of the city had made Whyalla "a bit different", stating:
However, the WEDB aims to change this through interventions and the activities in which they involve businesses.
This opinion is supported by the Chief Executive Officer of the WEDB who had previously reported that "growth in the mineral resources sector has significant potential flow-on benefits including opportunities for fly-in fly-out and drive-in drive-out from Whyalla with employees and their families basing themselves in Whyalla as a result of the city's first class lifestyle, education, health, shopping and other facilities" (WEDB, 2006: 12).