Business impact from the pandemic, with its lockdowns, has been weighty but one NSW battler has not only picked up business, but has been a real job creator in regional Australia, including Mudgee.

Picton Bros Panelspan are home edition specialists in leisure living, and they provide homeowners, and industry with products fit for adding extensions to houses – think patios, glass rooms, garden fences, cladding. But a lot of what they do, besides supplying and building, is all the ‘hard stuff’, like making plans, and getting council approval for homeowners that want to add to their existing properties.

Now with much of the nation grounded because of the federal government’s decision to shut international borders, the business has been booming. Many of their clients, resigned to putting cruise or international travel on hold, have decided to invest in home improvement projects.

And as a lot of opportunities started to come the company’s way, they were able to employ 20 extra people, some in the factory, some as contract builders and salespeople.

Co-director Les Picton said they are putting many businesses across regional NSW to good use. “We use a lot of local tradies, we’ve got tradies including in the Mudgee area... Dubbo, Tamworth etc., and we are looking for more tradies,” he said.

But despite the success said he understands the gravity of business-killing events, like Covid.

“Coming into Covid probably hasn't had the same impact on our business as the ending of the drought,” Les said. “We went through a few years of really solid hardship out west and in regional areas … all around the Mudgee area, and everywhere else, everyone was suffering from the effects of the drought, and of course that rubs off on every local business as well.”

The family-run business, steered by Les and his wife Pam, started off in 1992 and has grown steadily over the years. Then about 30 years ago they decided to make their own materials instead of ordering supplies from across Australia.

Now, they manufacture almost everything they build, such as roofing materials, gutters, beams, windows, and other components they use to build with.

So if you want to invest in something tangible you may want to give this friendly team a go. Picton Bros Panelspan has showrooms in Dubbo, Port Macquarie and Tamworth.

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