Confidence in the city is at a record high - on the back of Priority One figures from Infometrics that show 573 new companies started up in Tauranga last year.

The number of businesses establishing at the Tauriko Business Estate has also jumped - nearly doubling in one year while employee numbers skyrocketed.

Manager Rachel Emerson said it was at ''record highs for employee numbers, business numbers, business confidence and quantum of sales per annum''.

''It has truly been a stellar 18 months across all fronts.''

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Data reveals in 2016 Tauriko Business estate had 94 businesses compared to 52 the year before while employee numbers had spiked to 2008 in February 2017 from 926 in April 2014.

''The area continues to go from strength to strength and the surrounding shopping centres and residential areas are experiencing similar growth. Tauriko is a good news story across the region.''

Growth was largely from within the Bay, she said which should be celebrated.

Priority One projects manager Annie Hill said feedback from the business community was ''very positive at the moment''.

Tauranga City Council mayor Greg Brownless said economic development and more jobs were good for people.

''We have topped the country for GDP growth and job growth over the last two years, and people are optimistic about the future. We are hearing of some businesses experiencing difficulty finding the skilled people they need, but overall the business community is feeling confident for the future of the sub-region.''

Over the last two years it had worked with 24 companies that moved to Tauranga as a result of its efforts, she said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said Tauranga would always be an attractive place to start a business of any kind, being close to New Zealand's biggest export port and part of New Zealand's 'Golden Triangle'.

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"While you can always find cheaper land elsewhere, there's few places that offer the combined advantages of Tauranga and the Western Bay ."

Mr Gregec said the Tauriko story had a way to go.

"We're seeing some great businesses establish there - and many larger ones who are employers. Land is being purchased and more businesses are relocating out there because it's a purpose-built environment conveniently located and handy to transport."

Challenges continued to be finding skilled staff at the level required, he said.
''These tend to be the specialist roles. Other roles are easier to fill."

Tauranga mayor Greg Brownless said economic development and more jobs were good for people.

''They have a sense of purpose in their life and then the money they earn goes into creating a better community. Traditionally Tauranga has been an area where you can get jobs but perhaps not the good jobs you wanted. But now having more variety means you may get the job that suits your skills and I think that is great.''

But growth could come at a cost.

''It's a balancing act. We are already finding we are under pressure in the housing market and that is obviously a spill over from Auckland. The other thing is traffic because while growth has its benefits it also has side effects we have to get on top of which is not always cheap.''

'Pop up doc' new business initiative

A 'pop up doc' clinic launched at the Crossing Pharmacy last week is just one of many new businesses to launch at the Tauranga Crossing retail complex.

Initiated by Chadwick Healthcare, lead GP Dr Marshall Hollister-Jones said the clinic was a departure from the norm, where pharmacies co-locate with GP practices.

"We're aiming to service the needs of a rapidly growing community, and this approach has allowed us to get up and running very quickly."

Chadwick Healthcare's main surgery was based in Greerton and had been operating for more than 50 years.

The practice had a total of seven doctors and GP Mark Taylor would be based part time at Tauriko.

The Crossing Pharmacy owner Barbara Covell said it opened in September and business was steady.

"It absolutely fits with my philosophy that medical and pharmacy professionals should work closely together. This will satisfy the growing need of residents in our new and growing suburb."

She also owned the Downtown Pharmacy Mount Maunganui and said the growth there had been ''substantial''