We know the impact of the drought is going far beyond the farm gate because business confidence is down. Locally, most townships are on Level 5 water restrictions and have been for a while.

The commissioning of Malpas Dam Pipeline, and the announcement of the $480 million Dungowan Dam brings some relief to the communities of Guyra and Tamworth.

We will continue to push for greater water security for the entire region through more infrastructure and timely regulation reviews.

As a consumer, from using grey water to identifying leaks, we have an important role in reducing overall consumption. There are many useful industry tips to help business reduce consumption available online.

Celebrating Small Business Month

While the Chamber celebrates small business each and every day, the NSW Government is helping support businesses during October by hosting the following events in our region:

Hotline to resolve NBN issues

The rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues across the region and many issues have arisen for businesses.

However, following direct advocacy by NSW Business Chamber, a dedicated small business response team has been established as part of the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman.

You can contact the dedicate NBN Small Business team by calling the hotline on 1800 062 058.

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
  • New Employee $2,000 grant – Revenue NSW
  • Wage subsidies ($10,000 or $6,500) for select new employees – Australian 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 incentivise 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

On a final note, the Commonwealth Government will be calling for pre-Budget submission later this year. To assist we would like to see your ideas and suggestions on improvements which you think the Commonwealth could deliver. Please email or call me if you have fresh ideas!

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 email joe.townsend@nswbc.com.au.

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