Buildings vacant in main street as home business trend grows
NEW business is booming in Gladstone and for many entrepreneurial operators, there's no place like home.
From costume shops to hairdressers, the number of businesses operating from home in Gladstone is growing.
Gladstone Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Rick Hansen thinks the trend is part of a changing financial environment.
"It would appear that there is an increase in home businesses, that mostly I believe are delivering services that don't require walk-in trade," he said.
"Home offices have become popular and a trend over the years for small business to keep the overheads down, and I'm sure this would be true for this region as well.
"I'm sure there are cases where people have set up their small business at home due to high rental prices."
"There are quite a number of buildings available in the main street."
And as the number of Gladstone businesses operating from home continues to rise, so does the number of vacant commercial properties, a local real estate agent said.
Tony Lloyd-Jones, from LJ Hooker in Gladstone, said he had seen an increase in the number of properties available for lease.
"We have quite a few at this point in time," he said. "There are quite a number of buildings available in the main street."
Mr Lloyd-Jones said with the construction of new shopping centres, commercial lots had a high turnover rate.
"Vacancies become available all the time," he said. "A lot of companies are now based on the island."
Mr Hansen said a business's location depended on the type of business.
"Many of the home-based businesses are focused on delivering to a smaller number of clients, and therefore their overheads need to remain low," he said.
The council does not have data on home-based business numbers.
But regional strategy portfolio spokesman Matt Burnett said any person seeking to conduct a business from their home in the region needed to review requirements set out in the home occupation and home business code in council's planning scheme.
LIFELONG Gladstone local Tyson Evans spent the first three years of his colourful career in a shopfront at the Night Owl centre.
But at Christmas, the 22-year-old tattoo artist decided he'd be better off at home.
With the help of his parents, he transformed their double garage into a studio, and got a Gladstone Regional Council permit to operate from there.
He said the move had been a boost for the business.
"The past two years have been busy, but now I'm booked out until June," he said.
Promoting his business through Facebook, Instagram and word of mouth, he said clients didn't mind visiting his decorative garage for their ink.
"And it takes 30 seconds to get to work," he said.
He also attributes the move home to high rental costs, lack of tattoo-seeking foot traffic, and the ability to work alone.
Former schoolmate Brooke McNamee, 19, was getting a rose tattoo from Tyson this week, and said it was her first time under the needle in Gladstone, where body art is gaining in popularity.
"I don't know anyone who doesn't have at least one tatt," Brooke said.
But Tyson's not worried about running out of skin space to fill.
"There are people turning 18 every day, and there's always new people to the area," he said.
The self-taught artist said most of his clients wanted roses, skulls and portraits.
"It used to be everyone was into tribal tattoos and Southern Crosses - I'm trying to get them to step away from that," he said.