Last month, the NSW Government celebrated small business – something the Chamber does 365 days a year.

For us, it was exciting to host a successful breakfast event with guest speaker, Dylan Alcott. During this event we celebrated the winners of the Regional Business Awards program.

Taking out Business of the Year was Tamworth City Dance Academy. As a supportive, inclusive, dynamic and social dance community in both Tamworth and Quirindi. Founders, Kellie and Paul Singh, have created an outstanding legacy training over 450 students from over 350 families.

In total there were 14 awards presented, including:

Outstanding Young Employee – Libby Campbell, Everingham Solomons (Tamworth)

Outstanding Young Entrepreneur – Rianna Feenstra, Altitude Farm (Uralla)

Outstanding Business Leader – Nicole Brown, Face 2 Face Beauty Salon (Armidale)

Excellence in Micro Business – GW Group (Gunnedah)

Excellence in Small Business – Tamworth City Dance Academy (Tamworth and Quirindi)

Excellence in Business – Obieco Industries (Tamworth)

Excellence in Social Enterprise – New England Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service (Armidale)

Start-Up Super Star – China Billy (Tamworth)

Excellence in Innovation – AMPS Agribusiness (Tamworth)

Excellence in Sustainability – Armidale City Centre Inn (Armidale)

Excellence in Export – Three Creek Beef (Armidale)

Outstanding Employer of Choice – Forsyth’s (Armidale)

Local Chamber of Commerce – Inverell Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Inverell)

Regional Business of the Year – Tamworth City Dance Academy (Tamworth and Quirindi)

As Christmas fast approaches, do yourself and your community a favor by shifting a bit more spending to your local retailers, service providers, artisans and others.

Along with helping your neighbors and community, you may just find ‘going local’ turns holiday shopping into a far more relaxing and enjoyable experience: one that rewards both you and your community.

Grants and funding opportunities

We’ve taken the time for you to source selected grants to help your business prosper. These include:

  • Small Business $30,000 instant asset write off – ATO
  • Companies considering rapid growth can assess the Entrepreneurs Program and $20,000 in Business Growth Grants – NSWBC
  • $10,000 for skilled workers for eligible industries – NSW Government
  • Payroll tax rebate for apprentices and trainees. Plus get funding between $750 and $4,000 when eligible – Apprenticeship Support Australia
  • Meet a highly skilled facilitator to review your business’ research needs. Receive up to $50,000 in matched funding – Innovations Connections
  • Coles has launched $50 million to help small business innovation, grow and development of new market-leading products, technologies and processes – Coles Nurture Fund
  • Bookkeeping and accounting getting you down? H&R Block are offering $5,000 in cash and $5,000 in services – Grants for Growth
  • Financial incentives to reduce energy consumption including lighting, heating, hot water – Energy Savings Scheme NSW
  • Undertake a cyber-security health check, be reimbursed up to $2,100 – Small Business Cyber Security Program
  • Expert guidance and grants to help commercialise novel products, process and services – Accelerating Commercialisation
  • Farm businesses can have up to $5,000 for Skills & Professional Development – Business.Gov
  • Incentives to attract new and growing businesses in Regional NSW – NSW Government
  • Mission driven business can receive up to $140,000 – Impact Investing Australia
  • Restarting a mature age workers career and receive $10,000 – Job Active
  • Grants for growth to increase positive social impact – ING Dream Starter

As always, if you want to talk business, have an opinion on what needs to be done to grow regional NSW we are always looking for authentic local stories to help our advocacy efforts. Please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0429 993 822 or


Joe Townsend – Regional Manager New England North West, NSW Business Chamber