The VSBC has been participating in a number of regional round tables focussed on helping small business to address issue specific local issues.
In April 2017, the VSBC organised a roundtable conference with Regional Development Victoria, City of Wodonga and Wodonga High Street Traders.
The round table was primarily to discuss the upcoming roadworks planned for the High Street that would take approximately six months. The VSBC worked with the City of Wodonga and the traders to come to amicable and mutually beneficial arrangements to keep the traders open and viable during the works.
Mildura storm damage assistance
On 11 November 2016, damaging storms devastated the Mildura region, affecting business owners, farmers and home owners. Following the storms’ devastation, many in the community battled insurance, repair and assessment issues and became increasingly frustrated with the length of time it was taking to settle their claims.
The Mildura Rural City Council identified the need for further assistance and support around financial, legal and mediation matters, so in May the VSBC attended two forums (in Merbein and Red Cliffs) organised by the Council aimed at delivering advice to those affected by the storms.
Together with insurance and legal experts and the Financial Ombudsman Service, the VSBC provided information to those affected, particularly in regard to dispute resolution.
Latrobe Valley Small Business Round Table
With the potential impact on small business as a result of the closure of a number of large local employers, the Small Business Commissioner saw the need to apply a whole of government approach to support the affected communities.
The VSBC worked closely with a number of Federal, State and local government agencies to facilitate a Latrobe Valley small business round table meeting, held in Traralgon on 24 May 2017.
The meeting reviewed the support available to Latrobe Valley small businesses and identified gaps in the support. The group identified a range of support measures to help resolve some of the issues faced by local small businesses.
The proposed measures included:
- Development of an online portal to bring together links to all relevant small business support services
- Assistance for small business to attend training or mentoring sessions
- Delivery of three workshops to help small business to compete for jobs in development projects
- Support for local business networks.