Shire lends local businesses a hand to recover from COVID-19 with new business development centre

Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
Shire of Plantagenet Administration Building.
Camera IconShire of Plantagenet Administration Building. Credit: Laurie Benson Albany Advertiser

The Shire of Plantagenet is hoping to help local businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with a new Plantagenet Business Development Centre.

The proposal would see a centre open on a part-time basis to host free business support services and give businesses access to Shire staff such as the economic development officer.

Councillors voted at the June 16 council meeting to authorise the implementation of the centre, subject to a business plan and budget being brought to a councillor workshop by July 14.

At the end of 2019, there were 724 businesses operating in the Shire, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

During the COVID-19 restrictions in April, a survey was distributed to businesses which Shire chief executive Rob Stewart said showed businesses had been impacted in many ways and there would be no quick or easy fix.

“Although we are an agricultural community, our research indicates that many of our small businesses have been impacted by the pandemic,” Mr Stewart said.

“It was decided that a multi-agency approach would be the best way to provide tailored support that addressed the spread of issues. We are hoping to create a ‘High Street’ shopfront to encourage businesses who may have been experiencing issues during COVID-19 to let us know ... how we could help or how we may be able to put people in touch with those who may be able to help.”

The Shire is looking at a vacant building on Lowood Road as a possible premises for the centre.

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