Small business and council celebrate local initiatives

27 April 2022

The City of Ipswich has much to celebrate for Small Business Month in May with council and businesses partnering on programs to grow a more resilient local economy.

Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said council’s Small Business Resilience and Growth Program was fully subscribed a month before the application deadline.

“A lot of thought went into providing a program that made sure Ipswich small businesses were able to build the fundamentals they needed,” Cr Jonic said.

“This means a total funding pool of $150,000 will be going direct into the local economy to support 153 local small businesses to invest in their operations.

“The strong demand from local small business for this program shows the need in our community – whether to grow their operations or navigate the changing environment through these challenging times.”

The ‘Reinvigorate’ stream saw 78 businesses apply for up to $1,000 to upgrade or update the business through physical changes.

The ‘Go Digital’ stream had 73 businesses apply for up to $1000 to increase the online presence of the business.

The ‘Business Owner Development’ stream had two businesses apply for up to $1500 in matched funding for leadership development through an accelerator program.

Smoke N Fire local business owner Shaun Crowley was one of those that applied for the ‘Go Digital’ stream of the Small Business Resilience and Growth Program.

Less than a year ago Mr Crowley took his passion for smoked meat and made the leap from the construction industry into a food truck and small business based at Jones Road, Bellbird Park.

Mr Crowley said through the council grant he would be able to sign up to an online platform to offer more options for customers, including online orders for meat smoking accessories, rubs and sauces as well as delivery or pick up of fresh meals.

“The grant was enough to give us the incentive to give it a go,” Mr Crowley said.

“So many businesses are vying to try this and that, but with so many tight financially because of COVID, it is hard,” he said.

“With the council funding we can have a go and expand our business. That means we can potentially employ more people, which grows the local economy.”

Small Business Month in May will also include a variety of workshops and networking events to further support the region’s small businesses.

Cr Jonic said a series of Small Business Continuity Planning Workshops would be held in Ipswich Central, Rosewood and Springfield.

“These programs and workshops are examples of our commitment as a Small Business Friendly Council,” Cr Jonic said.

Businesses interested in the May workshops can contact council’s Office of Economic Development.