Business support initiatives in demand

Arthur St team. (Supplied)

The City’s Business Support Package, part of the short-term economic and community support package which Councillors unanimously supported at their Council meeting on Wednesday 24 March, has been fast-tracked and is experiencing high demand.

The package, which provides access to professional advice on human resources, financial management legal advice and digital marketing as well as industry-specific business mentoring, is being rolled out free of charge to impacted local businesses. An online hub for webinar training and links to support from other levels of government and other agencies is also up and running.

Local business owners have been quick to take up the personalised support and expert counselling which has already helped many to navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on their business models with 170 requests already received by the City. Businesses seeking support have been diverse and include representation from the construction, accommodation and food, professional services, arts and recreation, retail and manufacturing sectors among others.

Asphalt Paving Services is one of those businesses.

“The advice we received helped us develop a risk mitigation method to manage throughout this crisis, and feel more confident going forward,” Managing Director Terence Breen said.

Managing Director of Hyper Social, Mel Steward, is also positive about the package offered.

“The Business Support Program has been an exceptional initiative,” she says. “Providing small businesses with help that is so specific to their individual challenges, right now, in this changing environment where we can help them be adaptable, flexible and creative, has been wonderful to be part of.”

There is still scope for new applications and business owners are encouraged to get in touch and access support on topics which range from website development, e-commerce, managing employee wellbeing, cashflow forecasting and management of finances during economic downturn, as well as individualised, industry-specific mentoring.

Greater Geelong Mayor Stephanie Asher says:

“Geelong businesses, like businesses around the country and globally, are experiencing unforeseen and unprecedented hardship.

“As a Council, we made it a priority to fast-track initiatives to assist local businesses to weather the storm.

“This Business Support Package is one of those measures and we are really pleased to see that it has been enthusiastically taken up by our local business people.

“We still have the capacity to support more businesses through this program, so we urge anyone interested to make contact with our team and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Full details are available on the Business Support section of the City’s Coronavirus Support page at www.geelongaustralia.com.au/covid19 and telephone inquiries are welcomed on 5272 5272.

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