LISTEN: Young mum opening new shop in Gladstone's CBD

A YOUNG mum is expanding her alternative medicine and therapy business out of her family's Clinton home to Gladstone's CBD.

Tamara Standley said it's the "perfect time" to expand her business, Diverse Community Services, as competitive rental prices are giving her the foot in the door of the CBD she could only dream of a year ago.

"Unfortunately for some people, [the rental price] has dropped," she said.

"But for us it has been opportunity to get our name out there.

"It's a great time for entrepreneurs."

"We are actually expanding and training up two new staff to man the shop."

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Tamara Standley is expanding her business to this Auckland St store.
Tamara Standley is expanding her business to this Auckland St store.

Diverse Community Services sells alternative medicine supplements, including essential oils and sensory items, and provides therapy for people with a disability.

It brings to an end Ms Stanley's three-month search for the "right property at the right price" where she prioritised finding a property with "a lot of foot traffic" and near where parents can go pay their bills or get coffee as their kids receive therapy.

Ms Standley said the move from a solely mobile therapy business to one anchored in the CBD is "all about being able to service more people in a shorter amount of time".

LISTEN: Why Tamara Standley believes it's the "perfect time" for new businesses to move into the CBD

But she will still provide a mobile therapy service to her other clients, including over 30 children, as "there are a lot of families that have multiple children with a variety of diagnoses who can't travel all the time".

Ms Standley says her own struggle in raising three children with varying degrees of autism means "families can relate really well with us, because we live disability every day".

"I worked in disability and mental health for a lot of years, and then my children came along, so I guess it was fate," Ms Standley says.

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Diverse Community Services will move into 140 Auckland St.
Diverse Community Services will move into 140 Auckland St.

Her move to the CBD comes months ahead of the NDIS's Queensland rollout, which will bring a boom to the sector worth billions as the Federal Government seeks to better take care of people with a disability.

But regional areas, including Gladstone, aren't expected to receive the funding until January 1, 2018.

Ms Standley has negotiated a three-month trial of the new location, though she's "more than confident this location will be successful".

On top of a competitive rental price, a trend seen across commercial properties on the market in the CBD, Ms Standley will also enjoy a range of IT services landlord Shane Green is offering in an effort to get a competitive edge.

"It can be quite expensive so it's great that he's doing that," she said.

"It's going to be really helpful for us."



It means government funding to the not-for-profit arm of her business will go directly to services, rather than forking out for the IT services she needs to meet the bureaucratic obligations of running a government supported businesses.

Donna Burton, a field officer at Many Rivers, helped Ms Standley see the opportunity in moving from being a "sole trader" into the not-for-profit sector.

It means rather than pocketing all of the business's profits, Ms Standley is reinvesting to grow the business and collecting a wage.

Ms Standley said: "She planted the seed that made us believe it could be a lot more than a sole trader, and we grew that."

Ms Burton said her organisation, funded by the private sector and philanthropy, gave Ms Standley loans which "helped her move from a sole trader to a not for profit".

She said she could be watching Ms Standley's business grow for years, as unlike Government funded programs, her programs don't have a "life expectancy". 

She said Ms Standley latest move to the CBD shop rather than "parking herself over at Boyne or Tannum", as Ms Standley was considering, will mean clients can easily access the business.

"At least if it's in the centre she's not setting herself up for a particular group of people, she's more accessible," Ms Burton said.

She believes Ms Standley's move to the CBD is part of a wider push headed by Gladstone council's Luis Arroyo to "reinvigorate" our town's centre, which Ms Standley said is a "great opportunity" to establish a business.

"People should start taking advantage of that. It's a great opportunity to get out there and try something new and make something of yourself," Ms Standley said.

"And at the moment with council behind small business, with all the workshops, all that free help to get you established, it's a great time."

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