The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) has today launched the Victorian Small Business Engagement Guidelines – a tool for working with small businesses during disruptive infrastructure projects.

The guidelines were created in response to the high level of construction works that are happening in Victoria. The VSBC has had numerous complaints from small businesses about disruptive works. Businesses can experience temporary or ongoing disruption, including lack of access for customers and suppliers during construction.

The guidelines provide a tool for constructive engagement between small businesses and organisations undertaking nearby disruptive infrastructure projects.

The Victorian Small Business Commissioner, Judy O’Connell, said she wants to see constructive engagement with small businesses become a priority for project managers.

“We recognise the benefits that infrastructure projects can bring to the community, but it is important that project managers work together with small businesses and think creatively to tailor suitable solutions,” said Ms O’Connell.

“The guidelines are structured so organisations map out their projects in a way that considers the needs of small businesses and seek to uncover low-cost practical solutions to mitigate the impact of infrastructure works.

“Based on stakeholder feedback at the development phase, the guidelines also include a communications strategy which encourages clear and transparent communication with traders about any disruption.”

In the lead up to the launch, the VSBC met with several local councils and other key stakeholders. The response to the guidelines has been positive with stakeholders including VicRoads, Moreland City Council and Greater Shepparton City Council already confirming their support.

“I am excited by the enthusiasm of our stakeholders to work with small businesses and their understanding that there is a strong economic case for doing so. Small businesses play a vital role the Victorian economy and we can all play a part in supporting them,” said Ms O’Connell.

Further information here. We can be contacted on 13 8722.

Media contact: Judy O’Connell, Victorian Small Business Commissioner on 9651 9114.

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