News broke this week that the NSW Government would be reeling back their small business events program as a result of the changing nature of how small business owners seek to access business support services.
After an initial shock at the sudden departure of the traditionally successful events, its worthy successor has been revealed. Introducing the Small Biz Connect program.
According to NSW Minister for Small Business the Hon Katrina Hodgkinson, under this new $5 Million program each region in NSW will see an expansion of small business advisory services at the grass roots level.
“Small Biz Connect will introduce a new approach to the delivery of advisory and support services to small businesses in NSW that provides simple, user friendly access for clients and access to a State-wide network of skilled advisors.
This will broaden the accessibility of these programs across the State and allow more small businesses to benefit from these programs through better connected services.”''
For many years events such as Small Business September and MicroBiz Week have been the place for the small business community to benefit from educational seminars and workshops.
However the Government believes that in comparison to other states it has underperformed in its duty to assist the development of small businesses.
Therefore Small Business Commissioner Yasmin King hit the road last year, speaking to over 500 businesses across the state to better understand how their needs can be met.
The result was identifying the need for more tailored, practical advice from senior business people who can give personalised assistance.
“Many small business operators indicated they are quite often unable to take extended time away from work to attend training courses and seminars. While small business events can be a great way to get out and network, many small business operators found that training events and networking opportunities organised for small business did not often provide the practical advice and assistance they were actually seeking.”
The existing Business Advisory Service will be adopted into the Small Biz Connect program which rolls out across the four corners of the state.
And as far as the old programs and their information?
''“I have been advised that NSW Trade and Investment will make the intellectual property associated with programs such as the Women in Business program available to all current BECs, all future Small Biz Connect providers and local councils, at no cost.
This will broaden the accessibility of these programs across the State and allow more small businesses to benefit from these programs through better connected services,''” says Hodgkinson.
While the Small Biz events of years gone by will be missed by many, the new program does look promising and should be a good way of making sure all businesses are included.
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