New program a win-win for local businesses

Published on 04 June 2020

Business Barometer Survey Image 2020

Surf Coast Shire businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic are invited to be involved in a new program that will connect them with specialist support.

The 1:1 Specialist Advice Program is an initiative of Surf Coast Shire Council. It will see eligible businesses provided with a subsidised initial consultation to gain professional advice from one of the following services: Legal, Accounting, Human Resources, Business Planning, Digital and Marketing, or Business Coaching. 

Business owners can request assistance from a local specialist via www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/specialistadviceprogram. Consultations will take place via phone or video conference.

Council has already identified 23 local specialist advisers. Councillor David Bell said the program was designed to connect local businesses to support each other as many have been impacted by COVID-19.

“We have an in-depth understanding of the sectors which have been hit hard by coronavirus, thanks to Council’s newly-established Economic Support Team,” Cr Bell said.

“We understand there are some businesses that provide services to other businesses that are willing to help. We also know there are other businesses that have been more severely impacted in terms of staff management, and need some help getting re-established.”

Cr Bell said more than 370 conversations with businesses and trader groups, along with 411 business surveys, had provided the Economic Support Team with insights into local businesses’ most pressing needs.

“For numerous businesses, this Specialist Advice Program will offer an important first step on the road to recovery. It’s also a fantastic way to foster local connections,” he said.

If ongoing assistance is required after the initial subsidised consultation, participants can choose to continue to use the specialist service at their own cost.

The 1:1 Specialist Advice Program is now open for applications from businesses. For more information, eligibility and selection criteria, and to apply, please visit www.surfcoast.vic.gov.au/specialistadviceprogram.

Council has launched several business support initiatives during COVID-19, spearheaded by the Buy Surf Coast website. The campaign – which started in March – is promoting local businesses that have adapted and are still open for business during the coronavirus pandemic.

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