Small Business Support Centre launches in Newcastle

Small Business Support Centre launches in Newcastle

The Business Centre will be able to help even more businesses struggling under COVID-19, via the Small Business Recovery Centre, which was launched earlier this month.

Thanks to the support of the City of Newcastle, The Small Business Support Centre for six months will offer much needed support to businesses wishing to bounce back.

CEO of the Business Centre, Steve Wait, is passionate about the project and the opportunity to be able to offer a huge range of help to businesses who have been blindsided by the pandemic.

“As businesses started to feel the full force of COVID we immediately saw an opportunity to use our experience in disruption to step in fast and help,” he said.

“We applied for and won an Industry Response Grant from the City of Newcastle and are thrilled to have been able to move quickly to get the Small Business Support Centre up and running and have formed a great project team led by our Project Coordinator, Kristin Hughes.

“We are already moving tenants into our heavily subsidised office space and are setting them appointments with our Business Advisors, Experts In Residence, and linking them with all our support partners who have come on board offering their professional services pro bono.”

The Small Business Support Centre will bring together government and non-government agencies, banks and financial service providers, mental health, and well-being providers, all with capability and capacity and good will to lean in and help with economic recovery.

“Providers will give support, information and services, that lead to sustainability and job creation, to small businesses during COVID-19,” he said.

“Essentially we are expanding our own capacity to deliver even more tailored services to this cohort that need it most.”

Steve said the Small Business Support Centre is a collaboration between The Business Centre, the City of Newcastle and the city’s Business Improvement Associations. Local businesses including, Enigma Communication and The Garis Group, are major contributors also offering practical business support services pro bono.

“This collaboration is about connecting established business owners with business experts and low-cost temporary office space, with the goal to protect and stabilise their business during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“All business advice and support will be delivered by qualified and experienced individuals from over 20 local organisations.”

BIA Project Lead, Cornelia Schulze, and board member of Newcastle City Business Improvement Associations said the BIAs have reported adverse impacts of members from the COVID-19 pandemic that have ranged from medium to severe.

“The Business Improvement Associations believe that a collaboration with the Business Centre and the City of Newcastle will benefit business with logical and practical support services.

“Our hope is that it will create new ways for our region to help build a framework designed to create easy ways for our members and the wider business community to connect,” she said.

“Ultimately it is about making sure that people who are looking to create business have access to the right support to help them build a resilient and sustainable business.”

IMAGE | Peter Chapman of Enigma Communication, CEO of The Business Centre –  Steve Wait, Jim Garis of The Garis Group, Brendan Swansborough of Enigma Communication and John Garis of The Garis Group, all of whom are supporters of and contributors to the Small Business Support Centre.

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