Skills and support for small business

Article image - Skills and support for small business Pam Wilson, Carol Bagaric (AUSVM), Kerry Hall and Nakita Cook ahead of the hands-on visual merchandising training at The Inverell Jewellers.

Inverell Shire in northern New South Wales is up-skilling small business owners by bringing renowned trainers to the region.

Council launched the Energise Enterprise Program following discussions with the Chamber of Commerce on training needs of local businesses.

The discussions led to Council hosting four educational events for small business, with workshop topics selected by Inverell Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Funding from the Australian Government’s Energise Enterprise Program ensured workshops were delivered at minimal cost to participants.

The project has involved 71 local businesses – with the latest round of digital media workshops completely booked out.

“The aim of the program was to bring sought-after trainers to Inverell and help local business owners adopt market-leading techniques,” said Mayor Paul Harmon.

“Over the last six months, we have hosted customer service expert Martin Grunstein, visual merchandise consultants AUSVM and digital media guru Louise Scott ran back to back workshops on social media marketing.

“Council is delighted with the response of the business community, as these events have attracted well over 100 participants, so we will certainly look at ways we can bring further training opportunities to Inverell.”

Mayor Harmon said the project also delivered additional benefits such as bringing small business owners together, providing valuable training to new and emerging businesses and also helped Council gather feedback from retailers on future training needs.

“It was great to see small business owners from Ashford and Yetman come along, and we heard from many attendees on the quality of the trainers, value for money and convenience of having training opportunities on our doorstep.”

Business owner Sally Kelso attended the digital media workshop led by Louise Scott and was upbeat about the value of the training to her emerging fashion label, flaex.

“It was a great couple of days that have really helped and inspired me in the start up of my small business and I really appreciate the subsidised cost of the program – I thank Inverell Shire Council for this generous initiative.”