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Bega Valley Shire CouncilBega Valley Shire Council

Business Support

The 2020 Bega Valley Bushfires have created an enormous recovery challenge for the local economy. We’re experiencing one of the biggest economic shocks the region has ever faced, compounding the already significant challenges posed by ongoing drought conditions. The business community is grappling with how to navigate the direct and indirect impact of the fires to grow stronger together.

Council’s role

Council’s role is to support businesses as we build back better. Our focus is not only on rebuilding our economy to where we were, but also looking for the opportunities to create a more resilient, future ready, sustainable and inclusive economy.

Over time we have built a strong relationship with the business community and we understand the unique challenges of a regional economy dominated by small businesses who are also small employers and important supply chain players.

Many are battling their own personal devastation and the loss or damage to homes and properties. Added to that, resilience and mental health is tested by cashflow challenges and the need to make many tough decisions with impacts for staff, customers and suppliers. The Bega Valley has a high level of casual work, particularly in the tourism sector. Less work means decreased spend cycling through our local economy.

The bushfires have generated serious impacts for our key industries. Agribusiness is grappling with soil health and waterways impacts, together with livestock, breeding stock and infrastructure losses. Tourism has also been dealt a heavy blow. Road closures and the declaration of a ‘tourist leave zone’ in early January, during the peak tourism season, left a gaping income hole during a month that usually provides at least 50% of annual revenue for local businesses. 

Building Back Better

Our aim is to walk with business with the goal of Building Back Better. This means supporting the full spectrum of business recovery needs; everything from restoring damaged or destroyed premises to identifying what’s needed to ensure sustainable and resilient business models for the future.

Council’s practical support

We’re launching a number of initiatives, in collaboration with the business community, designed to underpin economic recovery.

  • Bringing the business community together
    In early January 2020, Council was quick to mobilise its economic development team to work with peak business groups in the region. Our approach continues to be to listen to business and business leaders and respond to the unique and diverse needs of their communities, to offer support and to play an advocacy role with other agencies and tiers of government.
     
  • Investing in tourism promotion
    One of our first moves was to invest $60,000 in tourism promotion and marketing to support the upcoming and very important Easter holiday season.  This financial support continues to be tactical and flexible as we adapt to the ongoing fire situation. Timing is everything and we’re constantly working to access funding options and opportunities to tie-in with government campaigns as they come online as well as understanding the different
     
  • Flagship events
  • Events are a big focus and an important part of leading a tourism-led economic recovery. We’ve identified a range of strong events requiring financial, marketing and branding support. Our aim is to develop a long-term event strategy and seek investment in a strong suite of flagship events.
     
  • Digital readiness
    E-commerce will increasingly become an important pillar of small business recovery and sustainability. We’re developing a small business digital readiness training program as part of our existing commitment to a roll-out of Destination NSW workshops and in conjunction with our partnership with the Bega Valley innovation Hub.
     
  • Innovation Hub support services
    Bega Valley Innovation Hub is refocusing its program to provide a range of workshops and support services to small business over the coming months. Now is the time to reach out and get involved.
     
  • Local procurement
    We’ve opened a portal for local contractors to register their interest in becoming involved in civil recovery works. Keeping local work local as much as possible supports better and more sustainable recovery.
     
  • Mental health and wellbeing
    Caring for the mental health and wellbeing of our business community is our key concern in all our economic recovery activities. But, we need your help.

Whether it’s taking care of yourself, checking in on your staff, or looking out for your neighbouring businesses, rebuilding our economic resilience can only happen by rebuilding our own.

Services are available through the Recovery Centre and by speaking to your trusted medical practitioner.

Next steps for businesses

Find out what’s happening to support businesses recover through the Bega Valley Innovation Hub

Get in touch with your local Chamber of Commerce or Tourism Association to find out how you can get involved in the programs they’re managing for recovery. Now’s the time to connect and start collaborating.

Business organisation name

Contact details

Visit the Service NSW Business Support Portal

This is where you can find information about all the State Government support available to small businesses that have been directly or indirectly fire-impacted.

Register with the Service NSW Disaster Assistance Finder Portal

Register and be connected to updates about disaster assistance.

Register as a contractor or supplier with the NSW Government and Council;

Lodge your details on NSW Government and Bega Valley Shire Council registers to let us know you’re available to provide goods and services in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Destination NSW: Regional Event Fund

This fund identifies and supports events that have the potential to act as a 'cornerstone' or flagship tourism events for their area by attracting overnight visitation and delivering long-term benefits to the region.

Find outabout the Regional Event Fund

Are you a local food producer or grower? Get in touch with us.

If you're about locally grown and produced food and you can supply to a restaurant quality standard and volume, get in touch with us and we’ll help you register with the Federal Parliament’s catering service.

Please submit the following form with your details:

 

Your details will be passed on to our contact in Canberra who might get in touch for more information if they’re potentially looking to supply from your business.

This opportunity has been created through Council’s active participation in the Canberra Region Joint Organisation (CRJO).

What's on in the Bega Valley

Council and Government roadshow events

You’re welcome to contact Dan and Alison from our Economic Development team on (02) 6499-2222 or by emailing EconomicDevelopment@begavalley.nsw.gov.au

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