City offers support for local businesses
THE City is offering assistance for hundreds of local businesses as work returns to the region at a reduced capacity.
Since introducing the COVID-19 Business Support program in March 2020, the city has supported 600 local businesses in adapting to the changing restrictions.
The support program provides business owners and operators with free professional advice
regarding marketing, finance, grant writing, human resources, legal issues and occupational health and safety.
The service also includes workplace training and provides health and wellbeing support with free webinars recently added to the support available to local businesses.
Mayor Stephanie Asher said the program was a part of the council’s wider COVID-19 support measures including community grants, fee waivers and hardship support.
“We’ve been able to help 600 local businesses adapt and grow despite the challenges of COVID, through our Geelong Business Support program,” she said.
“Small businesses are the beating heart of our communities and this program is our way of saying thank you and providing valuable support where we can.
“Thousands of small business operators in our region have shown resilience, adaptability and creativity through these difficult times.”
Hamlyn Heights business owner Candice Perus of Nest Seven said the support program helped her secure a grant for her business.
“Applying for a grant from the City of Greater Geelong presented an exciting opportunity for my small business, but the grant writing process felt a little overwhelming,” she said.
“I received personalised advice and assistance with the grant writing process through Geelong Business Support, leaving me confident and ultimately successful in my application.
“Thanks to the Geelong Business Support initiative we are now able to afford to engage two other local small businesses to help my business recover from the effect of COVID-19.”
Gautam Ahlawat, director of Nimble Hits Indoor Sports Stadium in Bell Park, also furthered his business after receiving grant writing assistance through Geelong Business Support.
“The person who contacted me was amazing and gave me a good understanding of how to write a grant application,” he said.
“She was very supportive and guided me until I got the grant I wanted.”
The city is now encouraging business owners who have not yet made use of the free services to get in touch.
To find out more head to the Geelong Business Support website.