$660,000 to grow small business in Wide Bay Burnett

Monday, 9 March 2015

Federal Member for Wide Bay, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt today announced a $660,000 grant for the Bundaberg Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) to assist small businesses in Bundaberg, the Fraser Coast and Gympie Council areas.

The funds will be used by the BEC to employ three business advisors, host workshops and deliver advice and information to small business.

Mr Truss said the Federal Coalition Government was investing in the future of the region, helping small business to grow and create jobs.

“This program will help to diversify and grow the regional economy.   With unemployment levels higher than the national average, initiatives encouraging new small business operators and supporting existing businesses are essential,” Mr Truss said.

While the three advisors will predominately be working on site with businesses, the Fraser Coast and Gympie Regional Councils will provide office space to the advisors when needed. The third advisor will be based out of the Bundaberg BEC.

Mr Pitt said small business was the backbone of the Australian economy, particularly in regional areas.

“We’re committed to making it easier to do business in this country. Programs such as this help give business the confidence they need to expand, invest and employ, and my first priority for the Hinkler electorate is creating jobs,” Mr Pitt said.

The Federal Government is providing $18 million over three years, through the Australian Small Business Advisory Programme (ASBAS), to chambers of commerce, business enterprise centres and industry groups to deliver advice and information services.

Bundaberg BEC Manager Peter Peterson thanked the two local MPs for supporting the ASBAS grant application.

“We will now be able to employ three business advisors to deliver low cost workshops and to provide one-on-one advice to small businesses and start-ups in Bundaberg, Gympie and the Fraser Coast over three years,” Mr Peterson said.

“With the many onerous changes in workplace relations, we have seen a greater engagement of contractors in recent years.

“As a result of businesses relying less on traditional full time staffing arrangements, we expect more of our skilled workers to establish their own businesses and that’s where we come in – we can assist with business planning, marketing, cash flows and accessing finance.”

Key services provided under the program include:

  • Assistance with funding avenues and financial analysis

  • Diagnostic assessment, assistance with marketing plans, feasibility of new business ideas

  • Human resource strategies and advice on regulations

  • Reviewing and implementing business plans, succession planning, assistance to access appropriate legal advice

  • Assistance on e-commerce take-up, information technology and broadband services, adopting technology concepts

For more information go to www.business.gov.au/asbas or visit www.business.gov.au

Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814  

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