Beacon to connect Mackay businesses

Regional Development Australia Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (RDAMIW) has launched its latest venture, an online platform called Mackay Business Beacon.

The custom-built platform is the first of its kind and will be piloted in the Mackay region to provide a vehicle for business professionals to learn about all the workshops, conferences, networking and business events in the region – in one spot.

The platform’s front end displays every opportunity to learn, network, upskill and collaborate within the region, and the backend allows business event providers to upload upcoming events into one central location, and collaborate on future potential events.

Launched at Friday’s collaborative EOFY business networking event, RDAMIW CEO Robert Cocco spoke about why there was a need for the project.

Mackay Business Beacon has a twofold approach for supporting our local business community,” Mr Cocco said.

“Firstly, busy professionals can now bookmark one website that shows the complete offering of upcoming business events – as well as offering the opportunity to sign up for alerts on events you’re particularly interested in.

“For the hard-working not-for-profits that host these events, such as Mackay Region Chamber of Commerce, Resource Industry Network, Split Spaces, YP Mackay and more, they can gain more exposure for their upcoming events, the event tickets and main info are still on their website so they won’t lose traffic, and they can flag upcoming potential dates, topics and speakers in case others would like to collaborate.”

He also talked of his ambitions for the future, and the businesspeople of the Mackay region as trailblazers.

“We hope that our local business professionals will be excited to use this platform. They are our pilot group – to test-drive this custom-built platform and let us know what improvements can be made. If it works well in Mackay, there are plans to roll it out across Isaac and Whitsunday – and potentially other regional centres as well.”

The Local Buying Foundation was RDA’s funding partner for the pilot project, and the Local Buying Foundation Chair, Kristy Marks (BHP, Corporate Affairs Specialist) said that a platform like the Mackay Business Beacon had the potential to further strengthen and grow the region’s business community.

“Initiatives like Mackay Business Beacon are extremely important in helping our local businesses to take advantage of all of the networking and professional development opportunities in the region,” Ms Marks said.

“We are living in an increasingly digital world, so it makes sense to be creating online platforms like this one, but with the view of enhancing and growing our ability to genuinely connect and collaborate – whether online or face to face.”

Visit Mackay Business Beacon at