Wingecarribee Shire Council is set to become more ‘small business friendly’ after signing up to take part in a ground-breaking initiative called the Small Business Friendly Councils (SBFC) Program.
Launched by the Minister for Local Government The Hon. Paul Toole MP earlier this month, the SBFC Program is the first of its kind in Australia and has been developed by the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner in partnership with the NSW Business Chamber.
Under the program councils who sign up to the SBFC Program will have the opportunity to review their procedures and practices in dealing with small businesses, make improvements where needed, explore new initiatives, and share ‘small business friendly’ strategies with other councils.
To date around 38 councils have committed to participate in the SBFC Program, ranging from large metropolitan councils to small regional councils.
Councils in the SBFC Program must make five key commitments including reporting on business improvement processes and on-time payment policies.
NSW Small Business Commissioner Robyn Hobbs said the SBFC Program was a welcome initiative for the approximately 689,000 small businesses in NSW.
“Small businesses are the powerhouse of the NSW economy, and it is vital we ensure they have ample opportunity for growth and sustainability through improved relationships with government,” Ms Hobbs said.
“Working effectively with small business operators should be a priority for all NSW councils,” Ms Hobbs said. “Through the SBFC Program, the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner and NSW Business Chamber will work more closely and collaboratively with councils so they are better placed to support and promote their local small businesses.”
Council’s Acting Deputy General Manager Corporate and Strategy Mark Pepping, said the Program provided a great opportunity for Council to demonstrate their commitment to local small business owners and their employees.
“The SBFC Program is the first step in highlighting that more can be done to enhance the relationship between councils and business, for the benefit of local communities.”