Shire Set For More Small Business Support
This morning, Golden Plains Mayor Cr Helena Kirby signed Council on to the Victorian Small Business Commission’s (VSBC) Small Business Friendly Council initiative.
The initiative is about making it easier to start, run and grow a business locally. Mayor Cr Helena Kirby met with VSBC Commissioner Judy O’Connell in Bannockburn to talk about the real benefits of signing up. At the meeting, Cr Helena Kirby put pen to paper, committing Council to:
- support new local business networks to get off the ground and existing ones to thrive
- promote how the VSBC can help at this time
- support small business owners to continue trading throughout disruptive council works
- work towards streamlining approval processes for people looking to start a business in the Shire – and more.
Golden Plains Shire supports close to 3,500 jobs across a range of industries, from agriculture – including wool and grain production and livestock – to construction and tourism.
The pledge is another way Council is backing the local business community as they recover and adapt from the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, Council supported businesses with a number of measures:
- COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy;
- Commitment to pay invoices from all local businesses within 14 days to support cash flow;
- Removing lodgment fees for some septic tank and planning permits;
- Refunding permit fees for events and activities that were cancelled or closed due to restrictions;
- Allowance for reduction in waste collection arrangements;
- Free mentoring support for small businesses experiencing hardship;
- Promotion of local businesses during the Be Kind to Business campaign in 2020;
- Access to Council’s business support officer for businesses to receive individual assistance; and
- Continuing budgeted capital works projects to maximise local business and employment opportunities.
Mayor Cr Helena Kirby says Council was excited to join other councils in signing on to the initiative.
“Our small businesses are key drivers of the local economy here in Golden Plains Shire and are a core part of the sense of community in our towns, both large and small. Council is pleased to sign the Small Business Friendly Council charter as part of our commitment to build on the much-needed business supports we’ve provided in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Victorian Small Business Commissioner Judy O’Connell welcomed today’s commitment from Council.
“Congratulations Golden Plains Shire Council for pledging to go that extra step in supporting your local small business owners during this time. We look forward to working together on ways to respond to local needs and ensure small businesses have a fair and inclusive operating environment.”
Through signing the charter, Golden Plains Shire Council joins 52 councils across Victorian in joining the initiative. Read more about the Small Business Friendly Councils program here.