$14 million boost to continue to assist small businesses across NSW

BY Australian Retailers Association
27 April 2020

Businesses across the state doing it tough during the COVID-19 pandemic are encouraged to register for the NSW Government’s small business advisory program.

Minister for Finance and Small Business Damien Tudehope said the NSW Government was injecting more than $14 million into Business Connect to help small and medium businesses navigate this challenging time.

“We want to provide the help our businesses need to get out the other side of this pandemic,” Mr Tudehope said.

“As part of this funding boost we’ve allocated $4.6 million to engage an additional 30 advisors to support businesses, on top of $9.8 million to ensure the program continues for another 12 months.

“Business Connect is a powerful tool, with advisors having assisted more than 28,000 businesses over the past three years, providing advice and skills training for small businesses.

“Business owners have reported increased confidence, stronger finances, and developed plans for their business. We’ve also seen these businesses create and support more than 15,000 additional jobs since 2017.

“And now Business Connect will be here to assist small businesses during this tough time with the support and information they need.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the funding would support Business Connect until June 2021, giving NSW businesses the tools they need to stay in business, rethink their model and boost their digital presence.

“Business Connect was on the front foot, rolling out targeted support and Small Business Bushfire Information Sessions in regional areas following the recent bushfires,” Mr Perrottet said.

“As a result of COVID-19, more than 60 webinars are available through Business Connect to support businesses in developing a road map for success and managing cash flow amid challenging conditions.

“In addition, a series of COVID-19 Business Information Session webinars with representatives from various government agencies will be rolled out soon, to provide information about stimulus and support initiatives.

“Businesses impacted by COVID-19 and bushfires will be able to access the webinars and receive advice free-of-charge.”

Blackrose Café in Liverpool owner Anthony Pellegrino said Business Connect gave him some advice on how to do things a little differently during this time.

Mr Pellegrino said while his Italian restaurant continued to provide takeaway meals, it also started to sell groceries including pasta, pasta sauce, meat and wine.

“Business Connect gave me direction and confidence in executing some of the things I wasn’t sure of, such as using social media to promote our restaurant and the diversification of the business,” he said.

Business Connect supports businesses to start, be resilient and grow by providing professional business advice and skills development events.

The additional 30 advisors will be funded through the new Working for NSW Fund.

Businesses can access support by visiting business.nsw.gov.au/businessconnect or call 1300 134 359.

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Australian Retailers Association

Founded in 1903, the Australian Retailers Association (ARA) is Australia’s largest retail association representing Australia’s $320 billion sector, which employs more than 1.3 million people. As the retail industry’s peak representative body, the ARA works to ensure retail success by informing, protecting, advocating, educating, and saving money for its 7,500 independent and national retail members throughout Australia. For more information, visit www.retail.org.au or call 1300 368 041.

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