2014 RHINO AWARDS: Gold Rhino award winner feels Dubbo's business future is 'very promising'

Tom Cavanagh, director of Gold Rhino-winning business EMS Group, says the economic outlook for the region is very promising .  
Photo: GREG KEEN
Tom Cavanagh, director of Gold Rhino-winning business EMS Group, says the economic outlook for the region is very promising . Photo: GREG KEEN

The recipient of Dubbo's top business award is optimistic the economy of the city and its region is about to power ahead.

EMS Group founder and director Tom Cavanagh said that with big mining and solar projects progressing the outlook was "very promising".

With a vow to help operators in the mining, earthmoving, construction and agricultural industries "get running (and) stay running", Mr Cavanagh has closely followed the region's fortunes.

He cited mines at Tomingley and Toongi and various solar plants in the region, and Northparkes Mine's "massive expansion" as big projects in the pipeline.

Tritton at Nyngan, which he named as EMS's biggest customer in the past five years, also had expansion options, he said.

"Once we weather the storm of the mining downturn - commodity prices are low at the moment - I think Dubbo and EMS will be well-positioned to capitalise on this," he said.

"But even without mining, there's quarries and Dubbo is a massive transport hub.

"There's a great deal of industry in Dubbo - it's a no-brainer for us to be set up here."

The diesel mechanic who completed his trade at Dubbo and then worked at mines in Cobar and Queensland "rolled the dice" in 2010.

With wife Amber and new twins Mr Cavanagh decided to start EMS Group, selling their home at Toowoomba to obtain capital and requiring a move back in with the parents.

The first two to three years was "solid work", starting with labour hire and no days off, working on mechanical jobs.

"We came out of that with a really well-respected workshop with loyal and great customers," Mr Cavanagh said.

But the Gold Rhino winner relied on more than luck, developing business plans and looking at the alternatives available to potential customers.

The business director said they had bought new land at Dubbo to build a "bigger and better" workshop and expected they would be "pushing dirt" there soon, ahead of an anticipated opening next year.

Mr Cavanagh also gave credit to his 20 employees.

"The Gold Rhino proves the focus and emphasis we put on our staff is the right decision - without them I wouldn't have a business," he said.

He said he wanted to emphasise EMS was there to "service Dubbo customers first and foremost".

"If you put diesel in it, we fix it," he said.

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