Doing business in the Surf Coast


Running a small business in any region can be challenging. Listed below are a few business support services to help make running your Surf Coast business a little easier.  

SurfCoast.Localised Online Business Directory

SurfCoast.Localised banner SurfCoast.Localised is the local-first business-to-business network for the Surf Coast. It allows local businesses to promote themselves, connect with other local businesses and discover all the latest local business events and projects on offer. And it’s FREE!

 Connect your business today:

Starting Your Business

Small Business Victoria website.JPG The Small Business Victoria website provides simple and practical advice on different skills it takes to manage a small business. Everything from setting up, marketing, hiring staff and grants can be found here. 

If you don't know where to start and just want to talk to someone. Call the Economic Development & Tourism department on 03 5261 0600 or

Applying for a Tourism Business Road Sign

You can apply for a tourist road sign to guide visitors to your attraction or service if you meet certain requirements and criteria. The aim of tourist road signs is to guide visitors to their destination, not to market your business.Dinny Goonan Winery Tourist Sign.jpg

Complete the Tourism Business Signage Application to start the assessment process. Your application will be assessed by Council and referred to Regional Roads Victoria if required. There is no cost to apply, however all costs for the sign production, installation and maintenance must be paid for by the applicant. 

The application assessment can take two to four weeks.If approved, the signs will be installed in four to six weeks following approval. There are guidelines that consistently apply to all signage on state and local controlled roads including Regional Roads Victoria 'Tourist Signing Guidelines' and Council's 'Signage on Council Owned or Managed Land' policy. 

Applying for a Planning Permit

Need more information or have a complex enquiry? You can access Council’s Planners by phone on 5261 0600, by email at, or in person at our planning counter at 1 Merrijig Drive, between 8.30am and 5pm weekdays.

You can request written planning advice or a free pre-application meeting. It is important that you've done your homework first and can provide: the overall concept, sketch plans, type of use, hours of operation, etc. Usually only one pre-application meeting is provided. 

See the Planning section of the website for more details. 

Expand your business network by joining your local trader group

Becoming a member of your local trader group can support your business growth. There are Trader Groups in each of the main Surf Coast Towns including:

The Surf Coast Agribusiness Network

The Agribusiness Network delivers quarterly Agribusiness e-newsletters, providing updates for local producers throughout the agribusiness supply chain on agricultural news, grants, events and learning opportunities. The Agribusiness Network also holds a farm focus workshops, providing local producers with access to the latest in best-practice agribusiness information. Subscribe to the Agribusiness Network.

The Agri Collective

The G21 region is home to a diverse range of primary producers, a mature food processing sector, as well as farm inputs and agritourism sectors. Coupled with innovative research,The-Agri-Collective-logo.png education and services providers, these sectors make up the Agribusiness industry, servicing the regional food and fibre supply chain, but also agricultural production supply chain of a large part of south-eastern Australia. 

The Agri Collective is a virtual hub, designed to be a one-stop shop for agribusinesses in the region to access news, information and grants, as well as facilitating connections between producers, customers and service providers. Create a free business listing on The Agri Collective to take advantage of this regional initiative


...Something Else? Contact the Economic Development & Tourism Unit

Every day we provide advice to businesses to help them get where they want to go. We make it easier to do business with Council, provide introductions to other businesses and networks, seek grant opportunities and provide strategic advice to help your business planning. 

If you have a problem and no one else can help, call the Economic Development & Tourism department on 03 5261 0600 or