Council, Chamber commit to three-year festival partnership

City of Greater Geelong CEO Ali Wastie and Geelong Chamber of Commerce chief Jeremy Crawford. (Supplied)

Geelong council and Geelong Chamber of Commerce have announced a three-year partnership to deliver the Geelong Small Business Festival.

The festival, held in August each year, provides access to training, presentations and networking opportunities for small businesses in the region and will mark its 14th year in 2024.

While the Chamber has supported the festival since its inception, the organisation stepped up its involvement last year to co-deliver the event with the City of Greater Geelong in what was hailed as the biggest and best iteration of the festival to date.

Geelong Chamber of Commerce chief executive Jeremy Crawford said the partnership meant the Chamber and the City could maximise their resources and expertise to create a “festival that continually evolves”.

“All businesses should have access to learning, education, and growth opportunities; this festival does exactly that,” Mr Crawford said.

“Geelong Chamber is committed to investing in initiatives that cultivate a healthier business ecosystem, where businesses thrive and our region benefits, a perfect alignment to the festival that makes a tangible impact each and every year.

“The three year partnership extension provides opportunities for us to invest in the brand equity of the festival and some longer term enhancements. This year we include physical small business hubs in Geelong, Torquay and on the Bellarine, a major change increasing the accessibility of the festival.”

Deputy Mayor Anthony Aitken, chair of the Strong Local Economy portfolio, said the partnership would support the continued evolution of the festival.

“Small businesses make up around 97 per cent of all businesses in Greater Geelong, meaning they are the engine room of our local economy,” Deputy Mayor Aitken said.

“With a focus on championing local business and promoting investment opportunities to drive economic growth in our region, we are thrilled to work together again to deliver the Geelong Small Business Festival.

“Given we have so many experienced people in the region, I encourage community members in the business community to register their interest in running a session to share their knowledge at this year’s festival.”

Visit to register your interest or for more information.