Business support hub aids recovery

Alexandrina Council, South Australia, has taken an innovative approach to helping local businesses through the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, introducing the region’s first business support program and networking hub.

Launched in August, the Business Alexandrina Program is a dedicated business program, which includes the establishment of the Business Alexandrina Hub (The Hub) in Goolwa.

The Hub provides businesses a ‘front door’ to the support they need to build resilience and grow in these challenging times. 

The Hub and its supporting services, made possible with funding from the Australian Government Drought Communities Funding Program Extension and Council, are multi-faceted; ranging from access to industry experts, stronger links to Council, a business network and ability to use professional, shared facilities.

The program will support businesses operating across region, focusing on the key sectors of retail/tourism, health services and agriculture. 

Council has secured valuable key partners for the program – including Regional Development Australia, Tourism Industry Council of South Australia (TiCSA), South Australian Department of Trade and Investment and Fleurieu Peninsula Tourism – to deliver advisory services and new resources for the region, offering face-to-face mentoring for businesses.

Of note is the new partnership and first of its kind in local government with the TiCSA, who via the Tourism Industry Development Fund, will support local tourism operators to capture the new regional wave of visitation.

Mayor, Keith Parkes, said, “This is an excellent outcome for those small businesses affected by recent bushfires and ongoing drought, and highlights our government’s commitment to continue with recovery in light of the COVID-19 impacts.

“With more than 2,100 businesses across the Alexandrina region employing up to 7500 people, we need to ensure the right support measures are in place to accelerate recovery and build resilience into their business models.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Rappensberg, said, “In a region that relies on local businesses to support a range of industries, the launch of the Hub is a conscious initiative of Council to support local
business in general.”